(WBNG Binghamton) The 2014 recreational boating program will begin May 23 on four New York City reservoirs in the Catskills.
Boaters can paddle or sail on the Cannonsville, Pepacton, Neversink and Schoharie reservoirs until Columbus Day, from dawn till dusk.
According to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), thousands have participated in the past two years of the program.
The boat rental program will be available again this year, for the second time. It allows local businesses to store and rent boats alongside the reservoirs, which has attracted even more boaters.
“DEP’s expansion of recreational boating, hiking trails and other outdoor experiences underscores our commitment to boost the tourism economy that supports so many families who live and work in the watersheds,” DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd said.
Boaters must have a DEP access permit that is available, free of charge, on DEP’s website by clicking here.
All boats used on the reservoirs must also be steam cleaned by one of the 17 DEP-certified steam cleaning vendors conveniently located across the watershed.
A list of those vendors is available on the DEP website. Steam cleaning helps protect against invasive plants, animals, and microorganisms that can harm water quality and fisheries.
If a recreational boat is taken off reservoir property, it must be steam cleaned again before it can reenter the reservoir.