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Division of Water

Mark Klotz, Director
Tom Cullen, Assistant Director

a photo of Loon Lake at sunset
Loon Lake at sunset

Welcome to the Division of Water webpage! The Division conducts a variety of programs to protect and conserve New York's waters. On this page you will find information about the Division's programs and recent activities.

What's New in the Division of Water?

The Division of Water uses this page to highlight water-related information that we think may interest you. This page is updated weekly and topics are typically posted here for about 30 days. If a topic has a specific end date (such as a public comment period or an event), the description is removed after the end date.

Topics on this page are advertised via the MakingWaves email list. You can subscribe to MakingWaves and other DEC email lists by visiting DEC's email update webpage. If you already receive updates from DEC, you can manage your subscription on this page too.

Water Week to be Celebrated in New York May 3 - 9 in 2015

Mark your calendars for Water Week, 2015! The theme this year is: "50th Anniversary of the Pure Waters Act". In 1965 New York led the way with the most comprehensive water pollution control program at the time. Over the past five decades, New York's water resources have become cleaner due to the pollution controls put in place and the funding made available to municipalities to protect their waters.

Water Week is a time to celebrate water stewardship, because everybody is needed to help take care of our waters. We encourage you to learn more about our valuable water resources and join the effort to restore, protect and conserve them. If you are already a water steward, invite friends and colleagues to join you!

So, celebrate Water Week with us! To get started, find ideas on DEC's Watershed Stewardship and Local Watershed Association webpages.

Update of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Management Page

DEC has been working with Cornell University and other local stakeholders to develop a water quality model for development of a TMDL to address phosphorus impairment in the South End of Cayuga Lake. Progress regarding this multi-year effort is presented on DEC's Cayuga Lake Watershed Management webpage. Recent updates to the webpage include an outline of public meetings with links to presentations from past meetings, links to other reports submitted by Cornell to satisfy permit conditions, and an update of the water quality assessment for the South End of the Lake to reflect the ongoing water quality efforts.

Tiana Beach Restoration Project

More than 50,000 cubic yards of sand will be used to repair approximately 3,000 linear feet of the dune at Tiana Beach in Suffolk County. The approximately $1 million project will be completed in time for the summer tourism season.
The dune at Tiana Beach is critical in providing a barrier for the mainland from the full force of Atlantic storms. Dunes absorb wave and wind energy and provide a natural buffer to prevent or minimize storm damage.
The dune at Tiana Beach had been made vulnerable by coastal erosion caused by major storms in 2013 and 2014.

NEW! "I Flushed. Now What?" Fact Sheet

DEC recently published a fact sheet for Sewage Pollution Right to Know (PDF, 50 kb). Download, print, and share this new, easy to view document that summarizes the SPRTK law and how DEC is using NY-Alert to implement the law. It also has information on how the public can sign up to receive sewage spill alerts, what they can do to prevent sewage spills, and links to online resources.

Reminder Note: Applications for Environmental Excellence Awards

Applications for the 2015 Environmental Excellence Awards program are due by close of business on April 10, 2015.

Eligible applicants include businesses, educational institutions, not-for-profit organizations, government agencies, and individuals implementing innovative, sustainable actions or working in creative partnerships to improve and protect New York's environmental resources and contribute to a viable economy.

Coastal Green Infrastructure Plan for New York City

The DEC and New York City will be jointly managing the Coastal Green Infrastructure Plan for New York City. The plan outlines how natural features can be used to protect New York City's estuary shorelines and coastal areas.

Coastal green infrastructure strategies create, restore or emulate the ability of natural coastal features to reduce erosion and mitigate impacts associated with coastal flood events. This is the first comprehensive summary of scientific knowledge about the design and construction of these strategies.

The Coastal Green Infrastructure plan can be found on the DEC's website.

Draft New York Ocean Action Plan Public Meeting Rescheduled

The Draft Ocean Action Plan (OAP) public meeting scheduled for March 5, 2015 (2pm - 4pm) at the Education Center, Central Park Zoo, NYC, has been rescheduled. The new date is Thursday, March 26, 2015 (2pm - 4pm). Additionally, the deadline for the public to submit comments has been extended to March 30, 2015.

WI/PWL Water Quality Assessment Updates

Updates of water quality assessment information for individual WI/PWL waterbodies are announced through MakingWaves. Most recently, WI/PWL Fact Sheets for the following waterbodies have been revised/updated:

Comments on these (or other) assessments are welcome via email.
In addition, the WI/PWL webpages are being modified to make it easier to find Fact Sheets for specific waterbodies of interest. These changes have now been completed for the Delaware River Basin.

New York Section 303(d) Listing - EPA Federal Notice Re Jones Inlet/Bay

USEPA has opened a public comment period to receive comments on its recommendation to add Jones Inlet/Jones Bay to the State's 2014 Section 303(d) List. The public comment period runs through March 25, 2015. Additional information regarding this EPA action and the federal notice can be found on the Federal Register website (link leaves DEC website).

The Final New York State 2014 Section 303(d) List of Impaired/TMDL Waters was "partially approved/partially disapproved" by EPA on January 13, 2015. EPA approved all waterbody segments and associated pollutants included in the New York State's 2014 303(d) List. However, EPA disapproved the State's decision not to list the Jones Inlet/Jones Bay on the South Shore of Long Island for nitrogen.

NY-Alert Accounts Available for Sewage Spill Alerts

You can now sign up for a NY-Alert account to receive sewage spill alerts and other public alerts directly to your phone, e-mail, or text message. For more detailed instructions on signing up to receive sewage alerts, please visit DEC's website.

The Sewage Pollution Right to Know law became effective May 1, 2013. The law requires that discharges of untreated and partially treated sewage are reported by publicly owned treatment works and publicly owned sewer systems within two hours of discovery to DEC and local or state Health Departments and within four hours of discovery to the public and adjoining municipalities.

Articles about Water by Division of Water Staff

Division of Water employees regularly write articles for the magazine Clearwaters, the quarterly publication of the New York Water Environment Association. The DOW Library webpage webpage houses these, and other, water-related articles written by DOW staff and others in DEC.

Division Webpages

Carpenter Falls
Carpenter Falls

The Division of Water's webpages fall mainly into one of the two following locations:

  • Water Pollution Control - Information, guidance material and forms about the programs the Division of Water administers to control sources of water pollution.
  • Lands and Waters - Water resource information is divided into the following categories:
    • Watersheds, Lakes Rivers: Information on NYS watersheds and other water bodies
    • Oceans & Estuaries: NYS marine and estuary resource information
    • Groundwater: Aquifer and groundwater information & resources
    • Dam Safety, Coastal & Flood Protection: Program information related to flood protection, floodplain development, dam safety, and coastal management
    • Water Supply & Reclamation: Information on protecting New York's public water supplies and drought information

Division's Mission

The Mission of the Division of Water is to protect and conserve the water resources of New York State. This mission is accomplished through a wide range of programs and activities. Some of these are statewide in their scope and apply to all parts of the state. Other efforts are targeted to address water quality and quantity issues in specific regions of the state, focusing on waterbodies or watersheds where these issues are of particular concern. Still other programs target specific contaminants (e.g., mercury) or sources (e.g., stormwater runoff) or impacts (e.g., acid rain) of pollution.

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