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July 8, 2014


(DEP) (718) 595-6600
(DSNY) (646) 885-5020
(DPR) (212) 360-1311
(EPA) (212) 637-3654
(DYCD) (212) 676-8208

“Clean Streets = Clean Beaches” Anti-Littering Campaign Launched by New York City and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Educational Initiative Aims to Improve Cleanliness and Aesthetics of City Beaches by Reducing Littering on Streets and in Parks

Summer Youth Employment Program Will Spearhead Cleanups of Waterfront Properties

Photos of the Event Can be Viewed on DEP’s Flicker Page

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd, Sanitation Commissioner (DSNY) Kathryn Garcia, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 Clean Water Director Joan Leary Matthews, Parks Department Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey and Department of Youth and Community Development’s Senior Director for Youth Employment Programs Andre White today launched “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches”, a public information campaign and beach clean-up program aimed at improving the cleanliness and aesthetics of New York City beaches by reducing littering. When it rains, trash and debris discarded on city streets and sidewalks washes down storm drains and can end up on beaches. This summer, “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches” posters will be displayed at area beaches and on approximately 2,000 Sanitation vehicles citywide. In addition, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will join with the Department of Youth and Community Development to clean trash and debris from waterfront properties throughout the five boroughs. DEP will also be giving away thousands of reusable tote bags at city beaches throughout the summer that people can use instead of disposable plastic bags that can end up on the streets. The program was launched at MCU Park in Coney Island, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, where staff distributed “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches” flyer toys to approximately 5,000 children attending the Cyclones game from area day camps and the City’s Summer Youth Employment Program.

“During the summer, New Yorkers flock to area beaches and testing confirms that local waterways are cleaner today than they have been in more than a century,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. “In order to keep the beaches safe and clean we need all New Yorkers to do their part and ensure that trash ends up in a litter basket, and not on the street.”

“Partnerships such as Clean Streets = Clean Beaches go a long way in helping to ensure all New Yorkers can enjoy our City beaches,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. “Litter on our streets today can end up on our beaches tomorrow. When everyone does their part, we can all look forward to a cleaner and more beautiful New York City for many years to come.”

“Coney Island, perhaps the world’s most famous beach, is a perfect backdrop to launch this long-running effort to keep our streets clean and our beaches clean,” said Parks Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey. “More than 10 million people will visit Coney Island and New York City’s seven other beaches this summer and what they will find is cleaner water and cleaner sand as a result of the ‘Clean Streets = Clean Beaches program.”

“DYCD’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) is providing jobs to more than 47,000 teens and young adults this summer, the highest number in five years,” said Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong. “By beautifying our waterfront properties as part of the Clean Streets = Clean Beaches initiative, nearly two hundred of this summer’s SYEP participants are learning the value of hard work, giving back to their communities, and sprucing up the city for all to enjoy.”

“The Clean Streets = Clean Beaches campaign is about taking pride in our community—both on land and in our ocean and harbor,” said Joan Leary Matthews, Director of EPA Region 2’s Clean Water Division. “Our waterways and beaches are very precious. We must all remember that garbage in our streets can end up in our sewers, which can end up on our beaches. Let’s work together to prevent that.”

“The ‘Clean Streets = Clean Beaches’ campaign is an important step towards a cleaner and greener City,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “At the end of the day, if New Yorkers want to enjoy a clean beach, they have to keep the streets clean. This initiative not only helps our residents take pride in their community by taking a moment to make sure trash is disposed of properly, but it also helps our youth keep busy with a productive, hands on summer activity.

“Programs like Clean Streets = Clean Beaches show that when our city ‘greens’ it, they mean it,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Keeping our communities trash-free is not only a quality of life issue, it is an environmental and public health imperative that affects all the living things that call our borough home. Brooklyn’s beaches are second-to-none; let's keep them that way!”

“Queens is home to some of the finest beaches in the region and the Clean Streets = Clean Beaches program will go a long way to make sure they stay in excellent condition,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “By refraining from littering, we can all do our part to make sure our beaches continue to be attractive places for summertime fun. I commend all of the agencies involved for pulling this effort together.”

My office has been engaged in a multi-prong effort to attack the litter problem on Staten Island,” said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo. “One of the key features of that initiative is the cooperation of city, state, and federal agencies who maintain property in our borough. The Clean Streets = Clean Beaches campaign is an example of multiple city agencies working together to help keep our communities clean and provide our residents with a better quality of life.”

The “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches” campaign began in the early 1990s to highlight the link between litter on the streets and trash found on area beaches. The 2014 program will utilize an informational poster for display at area beaches as well as on Department of Sanitation fleet vehicles, which include approximately 400 mechanical brooms that sweep litter from more than 6,000 miles of streets per day. Additionally, the Department services more than 25,000 litter baskets daily.

DEP inspects and cleans approximately 148,000 catch basins city-wide, which trap litter before it can make its way into the sewer line. In addition, a fleet of five skimmer boats, along with booms surrounding 23 major sewer outfalls throughout the city, are used to capture any debris that makes it through the catch basins before it reaches local waterways, including wood, plastic, metal, rubber, and glass. Last year, DEP completed the installation of three litter control devices located within sewer outfalls along the Bronx River that use hydraulic bar screens and nylon netting systems to capture litter before it can reach the river. This is the first time this type of technology is being used in New York City and, later this summer, DEP will complete construction on a similar facility at the head of the Gowanus Canal.

This week also marks the launch of the Summer 2014 Waterfront Clean-Up program where DEP partners with the Department of Youth and Community Development’s Summer Youth Employment Program to hire nearly 200 young New Yorkers who will spend approximately 25 hours a week removing litter and debris from waterfront properties around the five boroughs. The program helps to promote environmental stewardship and provide valuable work experience.

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