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March 19, 2001

Contact: Geoff Ryan (718/595-6600)

DEP-Funded "Water Power" Conference At NYU

Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that over 100 teachers will attend a "Water Power Conference" to be held at New York University on Thursday, March 22.

"The conference will focus on the New York City water supply system and the watersheds of its upstate reservoirs," said Commissioner Miele, who will be the welcoming speaker at the conference. "This is a great opportunity for teachers from schools in the City and the watersheds to participate in workshops, view exhibits, hear from environmental professionals and educators, and attend performances related to the role of water in our lives. All of this will stimulate dialogues among the teachers and provide ideas and materials for making water an exciting part of classroom curricula."

As part of the historic Watershed Memorandum of Agreement of 1997, DEP provides over a million dollars to the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) for grants that fund educational projects in the watershed and in the City. Funds for this first-time-ever conference were provided by CWC to the City Parks Foundation, which is acting as the sponsor. Hosting the conference is the New York University School of Education's Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education.

Teachers will visit the "Healing Waters" exhibit at the South Street Seaport Museum, which stresses the importance of the City's upstate water supply system to public health and the viability of the City as a major metropolis. They will hear a noted storyteller read from his work and demonstrate how exciting the story of water and the watershed can be for children. Workshops will deal with watershed ecology, water quality science, and the concept of networking between teachers and students in schools of the watershed and the City. And the day will wind up with a performance of a puppet show, "The City that Drinks the Mountain Sky."

"Few of the nine million people who enjoy the first-rate water provided by the watershed region and the City's reservoirs think about where it comes from," said Commissioner Miele. "We are delighted to encourage sharing of the many themes that make up water's amazing story, and we hope that teachers will be inspired to introduce those themes to their students. This conference will help groups from upstate and downstate areas to recognize our common responsibility for protecting the entire watershed region."

For more information about the conference, visit


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600