DEP seeks volunteers to clean Pepacton, other reservoirs


Volunteers pick up litter and recyclables at Pepacton Reservoir at the 2018 Reservoir Cleanup Day

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection will hold its sixth annual Reservoir Cleanup Day on Sunday, Sept. 15, beginning at noon.

Pepacton Reservoir is one of the six reservoirs volunteers can help tidy. Volunteers will meet at the Shavertown Bridge boat launch area in the town of Andes, just off of Route 30 on the north side of the bridge. 

The volunteers will remove debris from areas that are generally used for fishing and boating access, according to a media release by the DEP. Last year, 410 volunteers removed more than 4,600 pounds of debris and recyclables from reservoir shorelines, according to the release.

Adam Bosch, DEP director of public affairs, said that in many cases, the debris blew onto reservoir property from nearby roads or was left behind by people fishing or boating. Cigarette butts, plastic bags, food containers and coffee cups tend to be the most common items in a litter haul, Bosch said. 

"When we go out and collect the debris, the recyclables, and we weigh it, it's a really good reminder that people need to be careful with how they're disposing of their waste," Bosch said. We're really trying to drive home that message of taking responsibility, of disposing of our waste in the proper way."

Reservoir Cleanup Day is among many similar statewide events as part of the American Littoral Society’s annual New York State Beach Cleanup, where volunteers remove debris from beaches, lakes and other popular bodies of water, according to the release. The DEP is one of the agencies that sponsors the statewide effort. Last year, 7,053 people participated in cleanup events throughout the state, removing 45,311 pounds of debris along 194 miles of shoreline. 

Cleanups this year will also be held at the Ashokan, Kensico, Lake Gleneida, Muscoot and New Croton reservoirs, according to the release. Volunteers can also sign up to clean a stretch of the East Branch Croton River in Croton Falls.

Local high school students can fulfill some of their required community volunteer hours at this event, according to the release. Pre-registration for all guests is encouraged, which can be done at

Shweta Karikehalli, staff writer, can be reached at or 607-441-7221. Follow her @DS_ShwetaK on Twitter.

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