FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16-17
March 18, 2015
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Department of Environmental Protection Releases 2016 Watershed Recreation Newsletter
Annual Newsletter Provides Updates on Hiking, Fishing, Boating and Other Recreational Activities on City Lands in the Watershed
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced the release of its annual Watershed Recreation Newsletter, which serves as a yearly source of updates for thousands of watershed residents and visitors who enjoy recreating on City-owned lands and waters. The 2016 edition includes a calendar of outdoor events—including special fishing events, educational tours, and volunteer efforts—that are suitable for families. The newsletter also highlights information about DEP’s recreational boating program, new fish stocking efforts, and profiles on two unique recreation units that offer fishing, hiking and more.
“Our annual recreation newsletter is a great source of information for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy fishing, hiking and other activities across 130,000 City-owned acres that have been opened to public access,” DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd said. “The newsletter also underscores trends that are points of pride for DEP. The number of acres open for recreation is growing, the number of people participating in our boating program is growing, and so are our efforts to spread the word about these unique opportunities to enjoy the scenic beauty of the watershed.”
The Watershed Recreation Newsletter provides information about increased participation in DEP’s recreational boating program, which saw its largest year-over-year increase in participation in 2015, and it explains some experimental fish stocking programs that are diversifying the fisheries in some of New York City’s reservoirs. The newsletter also features two recreation parcels—one in the Catskills and one in the Hudson Valley—that offer a unique mix of outdoor opportunities for those looking to get out and explore. Those who regularly use City-owned property for recreation will also find a helpful directory of DEP phone numbers and other contact information to renew permits and boat tags, or ask questions about accessible properties.
Central to this year’s newsletter is a calendar of events that DEP will host throughout the year. More information on these events will be posted throughout the year on DEP’s watershed Facebook page at facebook.com/nycwatershed. Some highlights include:
- May 15 - Wetlands Tour in Westchester County: Wetland ecologists will lead an educational tour of two neighboring wet-lands in the Town of Armonk, focusing on the unique plants and animals that live in the wetland habitat.
- June 12 - Family Fishing Day at Ashokan Reservoir: Experts will teach kids how to fish at one of NYC’s most scenic reservoirs. Bait and fishing poles will be provided. Bring your own if you have them! This event in Ulster County is cosponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
- June 18 - Family Fishing Day at Cannonsville Reservoir: Experts will teach kids how to fish. Bait and fishing poles will be provided to those who don’t have their own. This event in Delaware County is also co-sponsored by DEC.
- July 9 - Wetlands Tour at Yankeetown Pond: Wetland ecologists will lead a tour of this unique site in the Ulster County Town of Woodstock, focusing on the plants and animals that live in the wetland habitat.
- July 16 - Family Fishing Day at Lake Gleneida: Experts will teach kids how to fish. Bait and fishing poles will be provided for those who don’t have their own. This event in Putnam County is co-sponsored by DEC.
- October 2 - Reservoir Cleanup Day: Join dozens of volunteers to keep our forests and reservoir shorelines free of debris! DEP’s annual cleanup is part of an international effort to remove shoreline debris from beaches, lakes and other popular waterbodies around the world.
There are now more than 130,545 acres of city-owned land open for recreation in the watersheds, including nearly 95,000 acres of land, and reservoirs that comprise nearly 36,000 acres. Of that, 66,479 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 nyc.gov/dep/accesspermit.
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 over $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 nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.