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January 11, 2002

Contact: Geoff Ryan (718) 595-6600

DEP Starts Temporary Waterfowl Management Program At Croton Falls Reservoir

Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that, starting on Saturday, January 12, between the hours of 3:00 and 7:00 p.m., DEP will start using motor boats and noisemakers to discourage gulls from roosting at Croton Falls Reservoir in the Putnam County towns of Carmel and Southeast.

"Because gulls (Ring-necked, Herring and Great Black-backed) have been roosting in unusually high numbers at the reservoir, fecal coliform counts in Croton Falls Reservoir have risen sharply, posing a threat to water quality and public health," said Commissioner Miele. "Accordingly, we will discourage the gulls from roosting by using noise-making devices that sound like firecrackers and make flashes similar to Roman candles. We have been using these techniques with great success in our Waterfowl Management Program at the Kensico Reservoir. I hasten to add that we expect to employ the program at Croton Falls only on a temporary basis, until the reservoir freezes over."

Normally, DEP would not have to utilize waterfowl management at Croton Falls. Because of current drought conditions, however, DEP is maximizing use of the Croton Water Supply System by pumping water from Croton Falls into the Delaware Aqueduct.

DEP started its Waterfowl Management Program in 1993, when investigations revealed that a seasonal increase in bird droppings had affected water quality and caused several isolated instances of E. coli contamination in the City's drinking water distribution system. Since its inception, scientists have found no seasonal increase in bird-generated bacteria and there have been no instances of E. coli in the distribution system.

"This relatively simple program has delivered superb results at the Kensico Reservoir without endangering wildlife at Kensico in any way," said Commissioner Miele. "We expect similar success at the Croton Falls Reservoir."


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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

(718) 595-6600