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The Nature of Things

A blog about nature and the environment

Archive for the 'New York City water supply' Category

Boats now allowed in winter on Kensico and New Croton reservoirs

December
1

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is expanding access to two of its reservoirs in Westchester County.

From the NYCDEP:

Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway today announced the expansion of recreational opportunities at Kensico and New Croton reservoirs in Westchester County. The expansion follows three public hearings on the proposed amendments to rules for recreational use of water supply lands and waters. Previously, boat access for fishing during winter months was not allowed on these two reservoirs, which were closed from December 1 to April 1. Starting today, new regulations allow boat access for fishing on these reservoirs year round. The amended regulations also give DEP the option to prohibit the use of certain fishing equipment, such as felt-soled waders that increase the threat of invasive species like didymo—also known as “rock snot”—which may impair stream ecosystems.

“New York City’s reservoirs offer some of the best fishing opportunities in the country,” said Commissioner Holloway. “Opening Kensico and New Croton reservoirs for families and visitors to enjoy during the winter months will allow as many people as possible to take advantage of this great resource, and has the added benefit of encouraging tourism and economic activity.  Mayor Bloomberg is committed to working with our upstate partners to create recreational and economic opportunities that are compatible with maintaining high water quality, and opening the Kensico and New Croton reservoirs to fishing year round achieves both goals.”

The city’s water supply comprises dozens of streams, 19 reservoirs and two controlled lakes open for fishing. Kensico Reservoir is 3.2 square miles and is stocked with lake trout and brown trout. New Croton Reservoir is 3.0 square miles and has smallmouth bass, brown trout and lake trout. In 2006, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation extended the black bass fishing season from December 1st through the Friday proceeding the 3rd Saturday in June for catch-and-release fishing. In 2008, DEP revised its recreation rules to allow year-round boating for fishing on all its east of Hudson reservoirs except Kensico and New Croton, to be more consistent with the new state regulations.

Boating for the purposes of fishing is allowed on New York City reservoirs to those with DEP access permits and boat tags. Anglers must store their fishing boats at designated storage areas and all boats must be approved, registered and steam-cleaned by DEP or a designee. For more information on fishing on New York City reservoirs, visit NYCDEP.

DEP attempts to open as much land as possible for recreation and bases decisions to do so on potential water quality impacts, whether the land is easily accessible to the public and input from the community. In May, DEP opened five additional square miles of Cannonsville Reservoir for recreational boating, which built upon last year’s decision to launch a three-year pilot program to expand recreational boating opportunities at Cannonsville Reservoir. In April, DEP announced plans to open 12,000 more acres for recreation throughout the rest of the year on a rolling basis. The 12,000 acres will bring the total number of acres open to recreation to 71,000. Also in April, DEP opened 24.5 acres, including 440 feet of river frontage, on the Beaverkill River, a famous trout fishing destination.

Kensico Reservoir, placed into service in 1915, can hold up to 30.6 billion gallons. It receives most of its water from the city’s west-of-Hudson reservoirs through the Catskill and Delaware aqueducts. The New Croton Reservoir, placed into service in 1905, is the largest in the Croton system and can hold up to 19 billion gallons.

DEP manages the city’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8 million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties. Approximately 1,000 DEP employees live and work in the watershed communities as scientists, engineers, surveyors, and administrative professionals, and perform other critical responsibilities. For more information, visit NYCDEP or follow us on Facebook.

Posted by Mike Risinit on Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 at 11:54 am |
| | 2 Comments »

NYC wants to keep buying land

January
26

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection announced that the city filed a permit application with the state to continue purchasing land in its watershed. Since 1997, the city has sought to buy land around its reservoirs to protect the quality of its drinking water. Read the full announcement after the break. Read more of this entry »

Posted by Mike Risinit on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 at 11:30 am |
| | 3 Comments »

Spend your summer with the NYCDEP

April
20

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is looking for nine college students or graduating high school seniors (who are going on to college) for its summer internship program. The interns will be assigned to various upstate locations in the department’s Bureau of Water Supply.

Interns will be placed in assignments that focus on engineering and scientific disciplines and will include tasks in water supply and wastewater treatment operations, water quality, watershed protection, and administration.

The internships will run from early June to late August. Those interested should submit résumés to: New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Water Supply, P.O. Box 358, Grahamsville, NY 12740 by May 1, 2009.

Read the full announcement after the break.

NYC DEP Announces Internship Opportunities for College Students
Program Envisions Development of Personnel Resources to Lead the Water Supply in the Future

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that its Bureau of Water Supply (BWS) is sponsoring a summer internship program for nine college students and graduating high school seniors who are presently enrolled in accredited college programs. The interns are expected to be assigned to six different DEP facilities in Delaware, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster Counties. The internships run from early June 2009 until late August 2009, depending upon the academic calendar of each intern.

Interns will be placed in assignments that focus on engineering and scientific disciplines and will include tasks in water supply and wastewater treatment operations, water quality, watershed protection, and administration.

“This program is designed to encourage watershed area college students to consider a career with DEP. New York City is committed to maintaining filtration avoidance of its Catskill/Delaware water supply over the long haul. Hiring employees with local roots to become future leaders at DEP is one way to strengthen our partnership with watershed communities,” said Paul Rush, DEP’s Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Water Supply.

State Senator John Bonacic said, “When local students intern at the DEP, they bring with them their personal knowledge of living in the Catskills and Hudson Valley. Nobody is more committed to a clean environment than the people of the Catskills and Hudson Valley, which is why we choose to live here.”

Students interested in this opportunity should submit résumés to: New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Water Supply, P.O. Box 358, Grahamsville, NY 12740 by May 1, 2009.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection has a long history of working closely with communities and strengthening its ongoing education and outreach programs to promote stewardship of New York City’s water resources. With this internship program, DEP will provide students with the opportunity to explore, study, and participate in the important work performed, largely by watershed residents, to provide drinking water to nine million people.

DEP is responsible for operating and protecting the City’s water supply system, one of the largest in the world, which serves nearly eight million residents of the City and one million people in Westchester, Putnam, Orange and Ulster Counties, as well as the millions of tourists and commuters who visit the City every year. The watershed of the City’s 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes includes parts of eight counties on both sides of the Hudson River – Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster in the Catskill Region, and Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester Counties east of the Hudson.
Read more of this entry »

Posted by Mike Risinit on Monday, April 20th, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
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Environmental internship

March
13

Want to spend your summer helping deliver water to some 9 million people?

No, we’re not talking about hefting bottled water but rather getting an inside look at how NYC’s system supplies drinking water. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is looking for 10 college students or graduating, college-bound high school seniors for internship slots.

The interns “will be placed in assignments that focus on engineering and scientific disciplines and will include tasks in water supply and wastewater treatment operations, water quality, watershed protection, and administration.” Assignments will be at DEP facilities in Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster Counties

Interested students should submit their resumes to NYCDEP, BWS, P.O. Box 358, Grahamsville, NY 12740 by April 25.

See the announcement here. (Having trouble opening previous link? Right-click on it and choose “Open in new window.)

Posted by Mike Risinit on Thursday, March 13th, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
| | 2 Comments »

A new life for proposed Catskills development

September
5

The state will be adding some 1,216 acres to its Catskill Forest Preserve under a deal that will allow two hotels, a golf course and hundreds of residences to be built near two of New York City’s reservoirs. The deal, announced this morning by Gov. Eliot Spitzer, allows a project known as the Belleayre Resort to move forward.

Plans for the resort have long been criticized by those who feared overdevelopment in the Catskill park and the threat of pollution to the city’s water supply, which also supplies drinking water to most of Westchester and part of Putnam counties.

“It is a new and long overdue approach that recognizes development in the Catskills must protect the people and landscapes that make this place so special in the first place,� said Eric A. Goldstein, a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, which initially opposed the project. “A project that would have been a disaster for the area now has the potential to become a model for how to think about future development both in this region and around the country.�

The plan announced today is for a scaled back project: 629 housing units compared to 772; one golf course instead of two and disturbance of 273 acres instead of 573 acres. The developer is Crossroads Ventures LLC.

Posted by Mike Risinit on Wednesday, September 5th, 2007 at 12:39 pm |
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Location

August
1

Location, location, location seems to color perceptions of the federal government’s declaration this week that NYC need not spend billions on a filtration plant for most of its drinking water. The Environmental Protection Agency deemed the city’s water — which is also the drinking water for most of Westchester and part of Putnam — clean enough and protected enough quality-wise to grant it a 10-year waiver from building such a plant. tjndc5-5b5tfjuo4qc19d316ldu_layout.jpg

If you missed it, catch my colleague Greg Clary’s story on the waiver. Here’s a press release from the city on the matter.

Poking around the various news stories about the decision, I noticed that some NYC-based media lauded the waiver. See here and here.

But if you check out some papers in the upstate portion of the watershed, where animosity still exists toward the city for its taking of land to build the reservoirs and many regulations, there was some dissension about the latest agreement. See here and here.

The photo by TJN photographer Joe Larese shows the former location of a community that is now part of the city’s Cannonsville Reservoir in Delaware County.

Posted by Mike Risinit on Wednesday, August 1st, 2007 at 4:26 pm |
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Walking the watershed

July
16

If you get your drinking water from New York City’s water supply and want to know more about where your water comes from, check out this neat project by a dozen or so high-school students. Called Mountaintop (to) Tap, the group is hiking, canoeing, etc. across the watershed to tell people about their water’s journey.

The students are posting online journal entries, although the lack of computer/Internet access in the Catskills is keeping them from their desired, daily schedule of musings.

Chances are, this water is your water unless you get yours from a well or a smaller, municipal system.

Posted by Mike Risinit on Monday, July 16th, 2007 at 5:23 pm |
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The Nature of Things provides a chance to talk about the wild denizens that share the Lower Hudson Valley with us and the natural settings that make this place home for everyone. From Long Island Sound to the Hudson River to the Great Swamp and beyond, almost anything related to the environment is fair game in this blog.

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About the authors
SBenischekJournal News staff writer Greg Clary writes Earth Watch, reporting on environmental issues in the lower Hudson region. Clary has been a reporter, editor and columnist at the Journal News since 1988 and has covered police and courts, transportation, municipal government, development and the environment in the Lower Hudson Valley, among other topics.
Laura IncalcaterraLaura Incalcaterra covers the environment, open space and zoning and planning issues for The Journal News. A Boston College graduate, Laura grew up in Rockland, attended East Ramapo schools and has worked for The Journal News since 1993. Laura has written features and covered North Rockland, crime, government and a host of other issues.
SBenischekMike Risinit covers Patterson and Kent in Putnam County, as well as environmental topics touching on the Hudson River and the Great Swamp. Risinit has been a reporter at The Journal News since 1998.
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