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Locals struggle with protecting swimming holes

Jul 13, 2020 6:00 am
Sarah Trafton is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Zoe Moore of Catskill, founder of Friends of Kaaterskill Clove, recently started an online petition calling for a solution to the illegal parking and littering at Kaaterskill Clove. “I made the petition because all the time I see everybody complaining about the issues, I thought, well then, maybe we should actually do something about it,” Moore said. The petition has already received nearly 1,500 signatures. Moore intends to send the petition, along with a detailed letter on the issues, to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos. Shane Valcich of Hunter has visited the Clove his entire life, he said. “We’re at the point where there are too many people to have public spaces like this,” he said. “Since Instagram there was a noticeable immediate explosion...Post-COVID, it’s been almost unbearable. Especially after 4th of July weekend,” Valcich said. He estimated that more than 100 bags of garbage have been removed from the clove this week. In addition to litter, visitors also left human waste near the creek. Moore is proposing that DEC deploy a permit system. Others say the road should be closed off and swimming should be prohibited, Moore said. The town of Catskill chose an aggressive approach, opting to close the swimming hole at Tannery Bridge just last week. The town board adopted a resolution temporarily closing the area, Supervisor Dale Finch said. Snow-fencing and signage was put up July 9, he said. “People weren’t complying with social distancing or parking regulations. There was disregard for just about everything. In the end we have to strike a balance between allowing people to swim there and protecting the public safety of residents," Finch said. Finch does not expect swimming at Tannery Bridge to resume this summer. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.