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February 27, 2019
Contact:; (845) 334-7868

DEP Releases 2019 Watershed Recreation Newsletter

Annual newsletter provides information on hiking, fishing, boating and other activities available across 136,000 acres of NYC water supply lands and waters

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced the release of its 2019 Watershed Recreation Newsletter, which serves as a yearly source of information for local residents and visitors who enjoy outdoor activities on water-supply lands and reservoirs in the Catskills and Hudson Valley. This year’s edition includes a guide to family-friendly walks around the watershed, a rundown of volunteer opportunities, updates for boat owners and access permit holders, and a comprehensive list of ways to find recreational opportunities and get in touch with DEP’s recreation staff. The newsletter also includes profiles of two new or expanded recreation areas that have opened in Delaware County and Putnam County.

“Our annual recreation newsletter is a great resource for those who want to connect with DEP and enjoy all the outdoor activities that our water supply properties have to offer,” DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. “The past decade has seen a dramatic expansion of recreational opportunities in our watershed. DEP now has 136,000 acres of land and water open for outdoor activities across 417 recreation units in the Catskills and Hudson Valley. We hope the recreation newsletter and other resources will help our neighbors enjoy the great outdoors with their families.”

Recreation in the watershed is underscored each year by a number of public events hosted by DEP and its partners. Details about these events are posted throughout the year on DEP’s watershed Facebook page and through a bi-monthly digital newsletter. Those wishing to receive the online newsletter can subscribe by emailing

The 2019 event season will kick off with Family Fishing Day at Lake Gleneida in Putnam County on April 27, followed by additional family fishing days at Rondout Reservoir on June 8 and Pepacton Reservoir on July 13. Times, exact locations and other details for these events will be shared through social media, newsletters and local news outlets as they become available.

There are now approximately 136,000 acres of water supply property open for recreation in the watershed. Of that, roughly 73,500 acres of land are in public access areas that are open to recreation without a DEP permit. For those areas that require a permit, the free-of-charge DEP Access Permit can be obtained online by visiting

Watershed recreation by the numbers…

  • 136,000 acres of land and water open for low-impact recreation
  • 73,491 acres open for use without the need for a DEP Access Permit
  • 113,736 people who have a free DEP Access Permit for fishing, boating and more
  • 417 recreational units where outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the scenic beauty of the Catskills and Hudson Valley
  • 13,236 boats registered for fishing at water supply reservoirs
  • 11 marked hiking trails that traverse DEP lands
  • 6 day-use areas for walking, picnicking and other family activities

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of high-quality water each day to more than 9.6 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 watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $168.9 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 $19.4 billion in investments planned over the next decade 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