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Department of Environmental Protection Releases 2018 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) recently announced the release of its annual 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. The 2018 edition includes a preview of events such as family fishing days, guided hikes and the department’s annual Reservoir Cleanup Day. It also includes a step-by-step guide for renting a boat to paddle on four of the City’s reservoirs, a guide for using New York City’s public transportation systems to reach the great outdoors, and profiles of two outdoor enthusiasts who recreate in the watershed. Because nearly 13,000 fishing boats are stored on the shores of our reservoirs, boaters will also find a page of helpful updates and reminders.

“Our annual recreation newsletter is a great starting point for outdoor enthusiasts who want to explore the scenic beauty of our watershed and the City’s reservoirs,” DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. “DEP has worked diligently with its partners to expand recreational opportunities and make access easier for anyone who wants to fish, paddle, hike and more. As we move toward spring, we hope this guide will provide new ideas to get outside with you families.”

Recreation in the watershed is underscored each year by a number of public events hosted by DEP and its partners. Those events will kick off this year in April with Family Fishing Day at Ashokan Reservoir. Additional details on that event and all others will be posted throughout the year on DEP’s watershed Facebook page. Information about the events will also be included in a bi-monthly digital newsletter that is emailed to those who possess a free DEP Access Permit. If you would like to sign up for the digital newsletter, send an email to watershedevents@dep.nyc.gov.

There are now approximately 135,000 acres of water supply property open for recreation in the watershed. Of that, roughly 71,000 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 1 billion gallons of high-quality water each day to more than 9.5 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 $166 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 $18.9 billion in investments planned over the next decade that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year.