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May 21, 2009


Michael Saucier / Mercedes Padilla / Angel Roman (718) 595-6600

NYCDEP Launches Cannonsville Recreational Boating Pilot Program

Access to Reservoir is Expanded to Include Kayaks, Canoes, Sculls and Sailboats

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Acting Commissioner Steven W. Lawitts was joined today by local elected officials and representatives of watershed civic associations to launch a new recreational boating pilot on the Cannonsville Reservoir, one of New York City’s water supply reservoirs. The new program is designed to enhance recreational opportunities and promote environmentally sound economic development in the watershed region, and will give several different types of watercraft — including kayaks, canoes, rowboats, sculls and small sailboats — access to the reservoir over the next three boating seasons (Memorial Day weekend to Columbus Day weekend) from sunrise to sunset. Previously, only fishing boats with proper permits have been allowed on the reservoir.

“Today’s launch of a recreational boating pilot program for the Cannonsville Reservoir is a perfect example of how New York City can work with regional partners to expand watershed  economic opportunities and enhance recreational opportunities while protecting New York City’s high-quality drinking water,” said Acting DEP Commissioner Steven W. Lawitts. “We look forward to future collaborations with our watershed partners as we work to stimulate economic growth and encourage tourism in this ecologically vibrant region.”

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis said: “Today marks a very special day for the Catskill region and the New York City Watershed.  Through this pilot program, residents and visitors to the region will now have the opportunity to get on the water in their canoes, kayaks, sculls, rowboats or sailboats, and enjoy the majestic beauty of the Catskills and the Cannonsville Reservoir. This new initiative is just the latest in a series of similar breakthroughs over the last two years. Working together as partners, state, city and local officials have taken a number of steps to expand recreational opportunities in the watershed while both protecting the City’s drinking water supply and helping boost the local economy.”

Delaware County Chairman James E. Eisel said: “This is one for the history books, when they write someday that New York City and Delaware County came together in partnership to open up Cannonsville Reservoir so that all may enjoy the benefits of recreational boating in our beautiful Catskill Mountains.” 

Access to the reservoir will be provided via launch sites at Mormon Hollow, Dry Brook, Speedwell, Patterson, Apex, Fish Brook, Beers Brook, and Dryden Brook.  Prior to launch, boaters must obtain either a full season recreational boat tag (good from Memorial Day to Columbus Day) or a temporary boat tag (good for one to seven days), both of which are available at DEP-certified vendors. To obtain a recreational boat tag, a boat owner will need a DEP access permit, which is available for free online. Owners will also need their boat steam cleaned by a DEP certified vendor.  Seasonal boat tags are also available by appointment with the DEP Downsville Region Office at 607-363-7009.  Details of the recreational boating program, including the online DEP access permit, a downloadable DEP boat tag application form, and a list of DEP certified vendors can be found on DEP’s website at .  The boating pilot program will run for three boating seasons, at which time a continuing program will be evaluated.

The Cannonsville recreational boating pilot is the result of close collaboration between DEP, representatives from Delaware County, the Towns of Deposit and Tompkins, the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, Catskill Watershed Corporation, Coalition of Watershed Towns, Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego Board of Cooperative Educational Services, New York State Departments of Health, Transportation and Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Learn more about the Cannonsville Boating Pilot Program

DEP oversees more than 138,000 acres of land in the watershed, much of which acts as an important ecological buffer for the 19 reservoirs and 3 controlled lakes that make up New York City’s water supply system. DEP is responsible for managing this enormous system, which provides more than 1.1 billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents throughout New York State. DEP is also responsible for managing storm water throughout New York City and treating wastewater at 14 in-city wastewater treatment plants. DEP carries out federal Clean Water Act rules and regulations, handles hazardous materials emergencies and toxic site remediation, oversees asbestos monitoring and removal, enforces the City’s air and noise codes, bills and collects on City water and sewer accounts, and manages city-wide water conservation programs. 

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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

(718) 595-6600