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January 14, 2015

Contact:, (845) 334-7868

Department of Environmental Protection to Offer Limited Supply of Free Driftwood to Artists, Craftsmen

Driftwood from Ashokan Reservoir can be picked up on Jan. 23

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection today announced that it will offer a limited supply of free driftwood from Ashokan Reservoir to artists and craftsmen later this month. The driftwood will be distributed on Friday, Jan. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at a staging area on Beaverkill Road in Olivebridge, just a few hundred feet from its intersection with Route 28A. DEP staff will be on hand to answer questions and assist artists as needed. Driftwood is a popular raw material that’s often used by artists for carvings, sculptures and even furniture.

The weathered wood is carried by the Esopus Creek into Ashokan Reservoir, where it regularly piles up in a portion of the reservoir’s west basin known as “Driftwood Cove.” Periodically, DEP removes the wood from the cove so it does not infringe on a nearby boat launch area used by fishermen. The wood will be given away on a first come, first served basis. 

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of high quality water each day to more than 9 million New Yorkers. This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and others professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $157 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.7 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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

(718) 595-6600