Educational Initiative Aims to Improve Cleanliness and Aesthetics of City Beaches by Reducing Littering on Streets and in Parks

Summer Youth Employment Program Will Spearhead Cleanups of Waterfront Properties

Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd, Sanitation Commissioner (DSNY) Kathryn Garcia, Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 Clean Water Director Joan Leary Matthews today launched “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches”, a public information campaign and beach clean-up program aimed at improving the cleanliness and aesthetics of New York City beaches by reducing littering.  When it rains, trash and debris discarded on city streets and sidewalks washes down storm drains and can end up on beaches.  This summer, “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches” posters will be displayed at area beaches and on approximately 2,000 Sanitation vehicles citywide.  In addition, DEP will join with the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) to clean trash and debris from waterfront properties throughout the five boroughs.  The program was launched at MCU Park in Coney Island, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, where staff distributed “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches” flyer toys to approximately 5,000 children attending the Cyclones game from area day camps and the City’s Summer Youth Employment Program.

“From Orchard Beach in the Bronx to Cedar Grove Beach on Staten Island, New Yorkers flock to local beaches during the summer,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd.  “In order to keep the beaches safe and clean we need all New Yorkers to do their part and ensure that trash ends up in a litter basket, and not on the street.”

“Partnerships such as Clean Streets = Clean Beaches go a long way in helping to ensure all New Yorkers can enjoy our City beaches,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. “Litter on our streets today can end up on our beaches tomorrow. When everyone does their part, we can all look forward to a cleaner and more beautiful New York City for many years to come.”

“Keeping our beaches and streets clean is a vital part of caring for our city,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “And care is the difference that will bring our public spaces from being simply resources, to being emotional touchstones for the communities they serve. NYC Parks is proud to work with DSNY, DYCD, DEP, EPA, the Brooklyn Cyclones and local kids on the Clean Streets = Clean Beaches campaign to ensure that we can all maintain and enjoy a healthy, beautiful environment.”

“The ‘Clean Streets = Clean Beaches’ campaign means a cleaner and greener City and an opportunity for our Summer Youth  Employment Program participants to learn the value of hard work, giving back to their communities, and beautifying our neighborhoods and waterfront properties for all to enjoy,” said Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong. “Through this initiative, our young people not only learn about the value of civic engagement, but inspire their peers and all New Yorkers to take great pride in their City.”

“The Clean Streets = Clean Beaches campaign is about taking pride in our community,” said Joan Leary Matthews, Director of EPA Region 2’s Clean Water Division. “Garbage on our streets can end up in our sewers, which can end up on our beaches. Our goal is to reduce the impacts on wildlife, human health and recreation. This is something where everyone, everywhere, can make a personal and direct contribution to our beautiful city.”

“Our beaches offer the people of this city respite from the blistering summer heat. New Yorkers deserve clean beaches, and the ‘Clean Streets=Clean Beaches’ program helps to make that happen. Litter belongs in the trash, not down the drains and not on the sand, and this initiative will help do just that,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“Queens is home to some of the finest beaches in the region and the Clean Streets = Clean Beaches program will go a long way to make sure they stay in excellent condition,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.  “By refraining from littering, we can all do our part to make sure our beaches continue to be attractive places for summertime fun. I commend all of the agencies involved for pulling this effort together.”

The “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches” campaign began in the early 1990s to highlight the link between litter on the streets and trash found on area beaches.  The 2015 program will utilize an informational poster for display at area beaches as well as on Department of Sanitation fleet vehicles, which include approximately 400 mechanical brooms that sweep litter from more than 6,000 miles of streets per day.  Additionally, the Department services more than 25,000 litter baskets daily.

DEP inspects and cleans approximately 148,000 catch basins city-wide, which trap litter before it can make its way into the sewer line.  In addition, a fleet of five skimmer boats, along with booms surrounding 23 major sewer outfalls throughout the city, are used to capture any debris that makes it through the catch basins before it reaches local waterways, including wood, plastic, metal, rubber, and glass.  DEP has also built three litter control devices located within sewer outfalls along the Bronx River, and one at the head of the Gowanus Canal, that use hydraulic bar screens and nylon netting systems to capture litter before it can reach the river.

This week also marks the launch of the Summer 2015 Waterfront Clean-Up program where DEP partners with DYCD’s Summer Youth Employment Program to hire nearly 200 young New Yorkers who will spend approximately 25 hours a week removing litter and debris from waterfront properties across the city.  The program helps to promote environmental stewardship and provide valuable work experience.