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October 21, 2016, (845) 334-7868

Department of Environmental Protection Announces Results from 2016 Reservoir Cleanup

Cannonsville (1)

More than 250 volunteers from across the Hudson Valley and Catskills collected more than a ton of debris and recyclables from reservoir shorelines

Photos of the cleanup at each reservoir are available on DEP’s Flickr Page

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that 264 volunteers from across the Hudson Valley and Catskills collected more than a ton of trash and recyclables during this year’s Reservoir Cleanup Day. The effort to remove debris, litter and recyclables from miles of shoreline was led by school groups, business leaders, local nonprofits and watershed citizens.

The Oct. 2 event comprised cleanup efforts at nine water supply reservoirs, including Ashokan, Cannonsville, Pepacton and Rondout reservoirs in the Catskills, and Cross River, Kensico, Lake Gleneida, Muscoot and New Croton reservoirs in the Hudson Valley. In total, volunteers collected 259 bags of debris and recyclables. The haul weighed a total of 3,342 pounds. In many cases, the debris had blown onto the reservoir property from nearby roadsides, had washed up along the shores from past storms, or was left behind at access areas used by the public for fishing and boating.

“The results from Reservoir Cleanup Day should serve as a clear reminder that all of us—anglers, boaters, motorists, local residents and visitors—play an important role in the protection of our natural resources,” DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. “I want to thank all the volunteers who joined our DEP staff for this cleanup. New York City is truly blessed to have watershed neighbors that care about our reservoirs and forests as much as we do.”

Debris collected during the cleanup included 3,647 glass, plastic and metal beverage containers, 330 grocery bags, 1,022 cigarette butts, 990 food wrappers, 604 takeout food containers, 147 pieces of fishing line, 43 tires, and 2,762 broken pieces of glass, plastic and foam. Reservoir Cleanup Day was 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. Data from the reservoir cleanups was reported back to the American Littoral Society to generate a statewide tally that will soon be available. DEP is among the government agencies, businesses 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.

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 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