Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why Steam Clean My Boat?

We know it seems like a burden. Why do I have to show up a day early and have my boat steam cleaned? Welcome to the Watershed!

The responsibility for providing clean drinking water to millions of people every day is a task the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) takes seriously. The Cannonsville Reservoir alone holds 96 billion gallons of water and covers miles and miles of shoreline. It is part of one of the largest unfiltered water systems, being used by 9 million consumers. Up to 800 million gallons of water are allowed to be taken out of the Delaware System each day - just imagine if that had to be cleaned because an invasive species or two got a foothold in the waters or shoreline.

Invasive species such as Zebra/Quagga Mussels, Japanese Knotweed, or Rock Snot are known to all public water system managers. A nonindigenous species is one that "threatens the diversity or abundance of native species or the ecological stability of infested waters, or commercial, agricultural, aquacultural, or recreational activities dependent upon such waters" says the NYState DEC website.

We appreciate that all you racers will have to jump through this hoop, but hope the lure of racing around the Cannonsville and hospitality of the folks in Hancock will make it all worthwhile. The Google map for the race course also shows the locations of the boat cleaning businesses. We highly recommend and oh so strongly urge you to make an appointment at one to ensure your boat is cleaned by Saturday evening and dropped off at the transition area. Folks who register later will likely have to get a boat cleaning appointment earlier in the day on Saturday or possibly even on Friday. The entire process of cleaning a boat takes about 20 minutes.

Allowing for recreation on their reservoir is one way the City pays it back to the local communities and business and greatly appreciated by them. Additional recreation is allowed on designated City lands such as hiking and hunting.

While these regulations exist, the lands around the reservoirs are kept in pristine condition and that is no exaggeration. The DEP has their own police force that patrols them. Likewise the lands that filter the water and moves it to the creeks and streams that flow into the reservoirs are equally protected. Farms work with the City to manage livestock and runoff, which keep the farms in good working condition and attractive to drive by. While the topography of the mountains will keep development at bay, the regulations add to that by having strict guidelines for development. Large projects can happen but with higher standards for roads, runoff, spectic, impervious surfaces. The City also buys land outright or purchases development rights from landowners,keeping even more land undeveloped and open space protected. When you talk about how green an event is, it really doesn't get any greener than this!!

The Western Catskills do have a different look about them in the Watershed lands. It is uncrowded and beautiful. A paradise for those that like four seasons of weather and being out in Mother Nature's playground. We hope that once you've been here for the CAT Race you'll come back again and again!

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