FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE97-50
November 7, 1997
Contact: Geoffrey Ryan (718/595-5371)
City Releases Watershed Wetlands Booklet
Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that the City has released Wetlands in the Watersheds of the New York City Water Supply System, an informational booklet produced by the Unites States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The 18-page, full-color report summarizes the results of a National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) conducted for DEP by USFWS, and presents information about the different types of wetland communities found in the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds.
The NWI used color-infrared, aerial photography to identify and interpret wetlands. Field inspections checked the accuracy of the photographic interpretation. Acreage summaries for aquatic resources in each watershed were then compiled from digital map data using a geographic information system. The booklet presents a graphical interpretation of this data and includes a map of the general distribution of wetlands in each watershed.
"The Fish and Wildlife Service has done an outstanding job in conducting the wetlands study and in making this information so easily understandable in an attractive publication," said Commissioner Miele. "We at DEP want to share that information and I encourage interested parties to ask for a free copy."
The booklet highlights the ecological, economic and cultural benefits of wetlands to local communities, including water quality protection, flood control, erosion control, fish and wildlife habitats, and recreational and educational opportunities. It also includes information about the federal and state agencies charged with regulating the impacts of specific activities on wetlands, and it features a section on wetland protection strategies that can be implemented at the local level.
"The publication of this booklet marks the beginning of DEP's education and outreach program on wetlands in the upstate watersheds," said Commissioner Miele. "DEP will work in partnership with local agencies and community groups to raise public awareness about the importance of identifying and protecting wetland resources throughout the region."
As part the wetlands project, USFWS produced a series of large National Wetlands Inventory Maps (NWI) and an Atlas of reduced size NWI maps that cover the entire 1,969-square-mile area of the watersheds. The Atlas of 11 inch by 17 inch maps also includes a detailed explanation of the USFWS wetland classification system and inventory procedures.
The booklet lists the locations of the federal, state and county offices throughout the region where the NWI Maps and Atlas are available for public review. These resource agencies can provide guidance on local wetland protection issues and state and federal wetland regulations. DEP also is providing copies of the NWI Atlas and the booklet to each Town Office and Planning Board in the watersheds.
For a free copy of the Wetlands in the Watersheds of the New York City Water Supply System booklet, or more information about DEP's Wetlands Protection Program, please call DEP's Stream Management Program at (914) 657-6172.
The New York City Water Supply System serves nearly eight million residents of the City and one million people who live in Westchester, Putnam, Orange and Ulster Counties. The source of this water, world-renowned for its high quality and excellent taste, is a 1,969-square-mile watershed in five rural counties of the Catskill Region and three suburban counties north of the City and east of the Hudson River. DEP is responsible for protecting and operating this surface water supply system, one of the largest in the world.