FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE02-08
Contact: Charles G. Sturcken
Plans to Reopen Reservoirs for Fishing
Boats at Kensico or New Croton Reservoirs
Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., of the New York City Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that the agency will reopen
the New York City reservoirs to fishing on April 1 under its new Public Access
Permit system. In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11th, all
City-owned watershed properties were closed to the public and individual recreational
permits suspended as a security precaution.
In January, the City introduced a new system of Public Access Permits that
replaced previously issued fishing, hiking and hunting permits. Under the
new system, all current permit holders anglers, rowboaters, hikers
and hunters alike must acquire the new permit that will allow for access
to designated, City-owned properties in the watershed when they are reopened.
"While we are planning to reopen the reservoirs on April 1," said
Commissioner Miele, "we continue to have security concerns. Accordingly,
the use of boats will continue to be prohibited at the Kensico and New Croton
Reservoirs, for the foreseeable future, although fishing from the shorelines
will be permitted. This recent decision was made as part of an ongoing security
review with federal and State authorities. It is part of a comprehensive security
program for the water supply that will continue to be developed and refined
in the months to come."
Regarding the issuance of the new Public Access Permits, Commissioner Miele
said, "We have received a flood of permit applications, which tells us
how important fishing at the City-owned reservoirs is to so many people. We
are processing and reviewing the applications as quickly as possible and we
expect that at least the first 10,000 will be available for pickup by March
23. Permits will continue to be processed and delivered on a regular basis
Applicants for Public Access Permits will be notified by post card when
their permits are ready for pickup at specified locations and hours. To pick
up permits, applicants must appear in person and bring the post card and a
government-issued photo identification to the location specified on the card.
For more information and the most recent updates, please refer to the City's
web site www.nyc.gov/watershedrecreation.
Regarding boat permits, all currently valid five-year boating permits will
remain valid, but each permittee must also have the new Public Access Permit.
All applicants for new boat permits or renewals must have the Public Access
Permit before a boat permit can be provided.
"We are processing the applications and permits as fast as possible
in the order in which they were received," said Commissioner Miele, "and
although we have hired extra staff to help, it will not be possible to process
all of the applications by April 1. We are committed to completing the job
as quickly as we can, and I ask applicants to be patient, and remind them
that they must wait for notification before they can obtain their permits.
The Police Precincts designated as pickup locations do not process the permits
and cannot issue them until they are received."
The City will continue to review its water supply security program in consultation
with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
and the Office of Homeland Security and State agencies. "We have increased
our ability to both detect and respond to threats," said Commissioner
Miele. "While the built-in redundancy in the NYC water supply makes it
a less than attractive target, we take our responsibility for protection very
seriously. We are confident that our regular anglers, hikers, and hunters
will play an important role in detecting and helping us respond to any threats
to the water supply."