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September 26, 2014

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Department of Environmental Protection Announces 2014 Reservoir Cleanup Day

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

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that it will team up with school groups, business leaders, local nonprofits and citizens across the watershed to remove litter and debris from public recreation areas at six reservoirs in the Catskills and Hudson Valley. Dozens of volunteers will participate in Reservoir Cleanup Day on Oct. 5 to remove litter and recyclables from areas that are generally used for fishing and boating access. The effort is co-sponsored by the Catskill Watershed Corporation, which will provide gloves and bags for the volunteers.

The event is among dozens 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, businesses and foundations that sponsor the statewide effort. In 2013, the New York State Beach Cleanup included more than 6,000 volunteers who removed some 80 tons of debris from 174 miles of shorelines across the state.

“I would like to thank the dozens of volunteers who are dedicating their time and effort to the cleanup at six of our reservoirs,” DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd said. “Events such as this help strengthen the spirit of partnership and volunteerism among DEP and its watershed neighbors. Cleaning the public access areas around the reservoirs will keep the shorelines and forests pristine, and continue to protect the drinking water for 9.4 million New Yorkers.”

“The CWC is pleased to provide staff and supplies for this reservoir litter pick-up, as we have for dozens of stream clean-ups throughout the watershed over many years,” Catskill Watershed Corporation Executive Director Alan Rosa said. “Clean stream banks and shorelines protect water quality, and add to everyone's enjoyment of our beautiful area.”

“We are pleased to have the New York City Department of Environmental Protection participate in the New York Beach Cleanup,” said Don Riepe, Director of the American Littoral Society’s Northeast Chapter. “The city’s reservoirs and the protected lands that surround them are great examples of environmental stewardship. They are a unique addition to our annual cleanup, which is the largest volunteer effort to clean New York shorelines and restore our waterways.”

The cleanup will comprise more than two dozen sites at six of the city’s reservoirs and lakes. They include Cannonsville, Neversink, Pepacton and Rondout reservoirs in the Catskills, and Lake Gleneida and Kensico Reservoir in the Hudson Valley. Cleanups at each location will begin at 1 p.m. and are expected to finish by 3 p.m., with the exception of Lake Gleneida, which will happen Saturday, Oct. 4 beginning at 10:30 a.m.

To help reach potential volunteers DEP has worked with local nonprofits, schools and community groups to establish captains for the cleanup effort at each reservoir. The captains will help recruit volunteers for their groups and others in the communities that surround the reservoirs. Those who wish to volunteer can also reach out to DEP by calling (800) 575-LAND or by emailing All volunteers will meet at central locations designated for each reservoir.

The captains and central meeting places for each reservoir are:

Cannonsville Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by Tina James, who leads the Future Farmers of America program at the Walton Central School District, and Nick Barone, president of the Deposit Chamber of Commerce. Volunteers will meet at Chamberlain Brook.

Neversink Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by Boy Scout Troop 97 in Neversink, which is run by Keith Mentnech. Volunteers will meet at the information kiosk on Route 55.

Pepacton Reservoir: The cleanup will be led by Ann Roberti of the Catskill Mountain Club and Diane Galusha of the Catskill Watershed Corporation. Volunteers will meet at the Shavertown Bridge Boat Launch.

Rondout Reservoir: The cleanup will be led by Franny Hertz and Cora Kircher from the Rondout Valley High School. Volunteers will meet at the universal access parking lot located on Route 55A.

Lake Gleneida: The cleanup will be led by the Carmel Civic Association. Volunteers will meet on Oct. 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the clearing along Route 6 just south of the hamlet of Carmel.

Kensico Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by avid fisherman Ken Hashimoto and John Tague of Trout Unlimited. Volunteers will meet at the Kensico Laboratory located at 19 Westlake Drive in Valhalla.

At each site, DEP and volunteers will keep a tally of the kind 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.

In recent years, DEP has continued to expand recreational access and programs on many of its water supply lands and reservoir. Approximately 120,000 acres of city-owned land and water are currently open for recreation, including fishing, hiking and boating. Roughly 60,000 of those acres, known as public access areas, can be used by outdoor enthusiasts without a DEP access permit. DEP has also enhanced recreation programs in the watershed to include recreational boating on four reservoirs in the Catskills, at least eight hiking trails that have been developed with nonprofit partners, and a program that allows state-certified outdoor guides to offer fishing, hiking and hunting tours on city-owned properties. More information on these and other recreation programs can be found by visiting the DEP webpage and and clicking on the “Watershed Recreation” link.

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 others 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 at, or follow us on Twitter at

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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