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September 16, 2016

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Department of Environmental Protection Announces 2016 Reservoir Cleanup Day

Reservoir Cleanup Day 2015

DEP will partner with watershed community groups to remove litter and recyclables from public recreation areas at nine reservoirs in the Catskills and Hudson Valley

Nearly 350 volunteers collected 17 pickup truck loads of debris during 2015 cleanup effort

Photos from past reservoir cleanups can be found by clicking here and here

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that it will team up with school groups, business leaders, environmental advocates, local nonprofits and watershed citizens to remove litter and recyclables from public recreation areas at nine water supply reservoirs in the Catskills and Hudson Valley. Hundreds of volunteers are expected to participate in DEP’s third Reservoir Cleanup Day on Oct. 2. The volunteers will remove debris from areas that are generally used for fishing and boating access. Reservoir Cleanup Day is made possible with support from the Catskill Watershed Corporation.

This year’s cleanup follows a successful effort in 2015, during which 17 truckloads of recyclables and debris were removed from dozens of miles of shorelines at Ashokan, Cannonsville, Kensico, Lake Gleneida, Muscoot, New Croton, Neversink, Pepacton and Rondout reservoirs. The haul included 100 bags of debris that blew onto reservoir property from nearby roads or were left behind by those accessing the reservoirs for recreation.

DEP’s Reservoir Cleanup Day is among dozens of similar events happening across the state as part of the American Littoral Society’s annual New York State Beach Cleanup, which organizes volunteers to remove debris from beaches, lakes and other popular bodies of water. DEP is among the government agencies, business and foundations that sponsor the statewide effort. In 2015, the New York State Beach Cleanup included 7,723 volunteers across 26 counties, accounting for the removal of 125,554 pounds of debris along more than 250 miles of shoreline.

“The volunteers who join our Reservoir Cleanup Day each year exemplify the best of environmental stewardship and community service,” DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. “Thousands of people visit New York City’s reservoirs each year to fish and paddle, and hike the surrounding lands, which are known for their scenic beauty. As the area attracts more visitors each year, we’ve been able to keep our water supply lands and reservoirs free of debris thanks to this annual event and the day-to-day work of those who care deeply about the environment, including our dedicated staff at DEP.”

“The New York City DEP has been a major supporter of our shoreline cleanup and marsh restoration efforts in NYC, and an active participant in the New York State Coastal Cleanup from its inception in 1986,” said Don Riepe, director of the Northeast Chapter of the American Littoral Society. “We are thrilled that the City has expanded these efforts over the past three years to include hundreds of volunteers who conduct cleanups around its upstate reservoirs.”

Cleanups this year will happen at Ashokan, Cannonsville, Pepacton and Rondout reservoirs in the Catskills, and Cross River, Kensico, Lake Gleneida, Muscoot and New Croton reservoirs in the Hudson Valley. Each cleanup at these locations will begin at 12 p.m. and is expected to finish no later than 3 p.m. Volunteers will meet at central locations designated for each reservoir, which are listed below. DEP will have tents or signs posted at each of the locations to help volunteers find them easily.

To help reach volunteers DEP has worked with local nonprofits, schools and community groups for the cleanup efforts at each reservoir. Individual who wish to volunteer can also reach out to DEP by calling (800) 575-LAND or by emailing Pre-registration is highly encouraged. Registration links for each of each of the cleanups can also be found on DEP’s watershed Facebook page by visiting

Ashokan Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by the Rondout Valley High School Community Service Club, Catskill Mountainkeeper, the Ashokan Center, and Friends of the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail. Volunteers will meet at the Frying Pan parking area off Route 28A.

Cannonsville Reservoir: Volunteers will meet at Cannonsville Bridge on Route 10, about one mile west of the Apex Bridge.

Pepacton Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Catskill Mountain Club. Volunteers will meet at the Shavertown Bridge Boat Launch Area.

Rondout Reservoir: Volunteers will meet at the universal access site on Route 55A.

Cross River Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by the Watershed Agricultural Council. Volunteers will meet at the dam, which is located off Maple Avenue in Bedford.

Kensico Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by Edgemont Cub Scouts Pack 4 and organizers of Volunteers will meet near the former Kensico Lab at 19 Westlake Drive in Valhalla.

Lake Gleneida: The cleanup effort will be led by the Carmel Civic Association. Volunteers will meet on Route 6 near the Sibyl Luddington Statue.

Muscoot Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by the Lewisboro Land Trust, the Golden’s Bridge Hamlet Organization, the Lewisboro Town Council. Volunteers will meet at the end of Old Bedford Road in Goldens Bridge.

New Croton Reservoir: The cleanup will be led by the Westchester-Putnam Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Volunteers will meet at DEP Boat Area No. 20 on Route 100, about one-quarter mile west of Muscoot Farm.

At each site, DEP and volunteers will keep a tally of the type and quantity of debris that is collected throughout the day. Data will be reported back to the American Littoral Society at the end of the event.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of high quality water each day to more than 9.5 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 other 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

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19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600