Riverkeeper generally supports expanded opportunities for low-impact, passive recreation that is compatible with watershed protection goals on water supply lands. It is through use and enjoyment of our shared resources that people become invested in their long-term protection.
New York City has rules and regulations in place that control access to lands and waters throughout the NYC Watershed. In the past, fishing and boating rules on were regulated by the Water Supply Act of 1905. In 1997 the New York City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) called for a review of recreational activities on city-owned water supply lands, lakes, and reservoirs in Delaware, Sullivan, Green, Putnam, Schoharie, Ulster, Orange, Westchester, and Dutchess counties. The updates addressed security issues and new recreational opportunities.
In 2005 and 2008, amendments to the recreational access rules and regulations were passed that protect the high-quality drinking water supply while expanding recreational access opportunities. Recreational activities addressed include hunting, hiking, fishing, and boating. The new rules and regulations require people to obtain a Public Access Permit from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in certain areas while designating other areas “Public Areas” where no permits are required.
To review a list of designated activities by location, or to download maps, visit the NYC Department of Environmental Protection site: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/watershed_protection/maps.shtml
To apply for a permit to hike or fish in designated watershed locations, visit the NYC Department of Environmental Protection site: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/watershed_protection/recreation.shtml