February 2015

Living in Cottage Country Handbook Now Available!

"...the go-to informative resource for recreational residents, and anyone else who lives here in Muskoka...an information resource whose potential payback reaches far beyond its initial cost."
-The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®
Living in Cottage Country - ExcerptThe highly anticipated Living in Cottage Country: What You Should Know handbook is now available for sale! This 108-page guide is a valuable resource for everyone living in cottage country.
Whether you are new to Muskoka or a long-time resident, this handbook will help you understand how to comply with rules and regulations to ensure that our wonderful, but fragile, environment continues to bring us joy and satisfaction in the future.
Wondering where you can pick up a copy? Ask at your local Chamber of Commerce, municipal office, or real estate broker to see if they have copies available. You can also drop by our office at 16 Robert Boyer Lane in Bracebridge to pick up a copy and check out our many other resources.
Only $20 a copy! Discounts are available for bulk purchases. Learn more at http://www.muskokawatershed.org/resources/handbook/.
Click here to see an excerpt!

Thank You!

Muskoka Watershed Council would like to thank the many people involved in the development and review of the Living in Cottage Country handbook. From MWC members who helped develop content, local experts who reviewed specific chapters for accuracy, to community members who provided input on the content and design, this handbook would not exist without them.
MWC would also like to acknowledge the support of the following organizations for the development and printing of the handbook:

Are You a Member?

Become a member!Join Friends of the Muskoka Watershed for just $25 a year and help support the projects and programs of the Muskoka Watershed Council.

In additon to supporting watershed health, members receive discounts on FMW and MWC organized events, including the upcoming 2015 Muskoka Stewardship Conference and the 2016 Muskoka Summit on the Environment. There are also many other exciting events being planned for 2015 that you can be a part of!

Learn more about FMW and how you can become a member at www.muskokawatershed.org.
Join Now!

Waste Diversion in Muskoka 
New Waste Wizard tools puts garbage in its place!

Although there's no magical way to get rid of your garbage and recycling, Muskoka's new searchable "Waste Wizard" database will tell you what to put where.
The District Municipality of Muskoka has launched a new online tool called Muskoka’s Waste Wizard, which explains how items should be disposed of. You simply type in the kind of garbage you want to get rid of and the tool lets you know which landfill site you should take it to or which recycling stream it should go into. The new tool covers both garbage and recycling and just about every type of garbage subject out there.
Give it a try at http://muskoka.on.ca/content/muskokas-waste-wizard.

2015 Muskoka Stewardship Conference in May

Join us Saturday, May 2nd for the 2015 Muskoka Stewardship Conference at Nipissing University in Bracebridge. The theme for this year's event is "Living in Cottage Country: What You Need to Know" and will feature speakers on a number of topics related to sustainable living in Muskoka and beyond, as outlined in MWC's recently released publication of the same name.
Local naturalist Robin Tapley, founder and senior naturalist with Nature Trails, is the keynote speaker. Robin's enthusiasm and passion for Muskoka's natural environment is contagious and will set the stage for a day of learning how to live in our fragile environment without damaging it.
MSC is hosted by the Muskoka Watershed Council, The District Municipality of Muskoka and Friends of the Muskoka Watershed. Registration opens soon with special rates available for FMW members, students and exhibitors. Learn more at http://www.muskokawatershed.org/events/msc/2015-msc/.
2015 Muskoka Stewardship Conference

Time is Running Out to Win $500

A $500 prize is available to a student in Muskoka, Haliburton or Hastings who can best describe the importance of our headwater lakes and how they help cities downstream. The winner will become this year’s Highlands Headwater Champion and be featured in an online video for the world to see. The contest will close when Canada Water Week begins on March 16th and the winner will be announced on World Water Day, March 22nd.
The Land BetweenStudents in the region between grades 5-12 are encouraged to submit entries in the form of poems, essays, songs, videos or stories before the end of the day on March 16th. Evaluation will be based on how well the student describes the functions and importance of our headwater lakes, creativity and use of local examples. The final video will be produced by Muskoka Watershed Council and will feature the winner describing the importance of our headwater lakes.
2015 Working Around Water Symposium
Join Muskoka Conservancy for their annual Working Around Water Symposium. This workshop is a development opportunity for professionals who do work around water in Muskoka. The event will be held on Tuesday, March 31st at Nipissing University campus in Bracebridge. Visit http://muskokaconservancy.org/events/working-around-water-symposium for registration information and a copy of the agenda.
Please contact the Muskoka Conservancy for more details or with any questions: Jenn Head, Stewardship Coordinator - 705-645-7393 x206 or jhead@muskokaconservancy.org.

Nutrient Monitoring Project for Georgian Bay Receives Funding

A “Coordinated Nutrient Monitoring” project, led by the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve (GBBR) in partnership with Carling Township, Township of the Archipelago and Township of Georgian Bay, received $191,300 over two years through Environment Canada’s Lake Simcoe/South-eastern Georgian Bay Clean-Up Fund to make water quality monitoring more consistent and help research and government decision-making.
Working with municipalities, government agencies and volunteers, the goal of the project is to establish common monitoring objectives and expand the monitoring activities in Georgian Bay, ensuring that nutrients are measured by stakeholders in a similar and comparative fashion.
2014 Muskoka Watershed Report Card

MWC Participates in National CWN Consortium Meeting

The Muskoka River Watershed is the largest watershed in The District Municipality of Muskoka, covering an area of 5,596 square kilometres. To manage human pressures and cumulative impacts in the Muskoka River Watershed, the Canadian Water Network (CWN) has funded the Muskoka River Watershed Monitoring Node to develop best practices for a collaborative monitoring program aimed at early detection of cumulative effects, as well as predictive models enabling the management of multiple stressors on both small and large scales.
CWN-funded researcher, Dr. Catherine Eimers at Trent University, is leading 11 unique projects in nine research areas focusing on algal blooms, nutrients, phosphorus and dissolved organic carbon, calcium levels, climate and the interacting effects of these stressors. The research involves 10 university and four government scientists across seven universities and institutions.

On February 18-19, Muskoka Watershed Council participated at the Canadian Water Network’s Watershed Research Consortium in Waterloo to share our progress in watershed management practices. Together with five other selected watershed areas across Canada (including Ontario’s Grand River, New Brunswick’s Saint John Harbour, PEI’s Northumberland Strait, Alberta’s Tobacco Creek and Northwest Territories’ Slave River Delta), Muskoka provided an overview of its watershed monitoring programs, and all consortium participants discussed opportunities and potential next steps for watershed management at local, regional and national levels.

Subwatershed Spotlight: Skeleton River

Click to EnlargeWater: NOT STRESSED
Biodiversity: VULNERABLE

The Skeleton River Subwatershed is 9,247 hectares in area and is in the central portion of The District Municipality of Muskoka. The Skeleton River Subwatershed is small and fairly developed with thin soils. Altered shoreline buffers and alien invasive species in the Skeleton River Subwatershed are causing stress to the environmental health of this region.
MWC Display at Muskoka Builders Assoc Meeting
Muskoka Builders Assoc Meeting
Peter Sale, MWC Chair, and Lyndsie McGregor, FMW Development Officer, attended the Muskoka Builder’s Association dinner meeting on February 12th at the Riverside Inn in Bracebridge to talk about what the Muskoka Watershed Council is and why builders should be interested.

Proposed Legislation to Protect the Great Lakes

New legislation is being proposed by the Province of Ontario to protect the Great Lakes.

Georgian Bay CoastlineThe Great Lakes Protection Act, if passed, would:
* Help fight climate change, reduce harmful algal blooms, and protect wetlands and other coastal areas.
* Monitor and report on the health of the lakes.
* Bring people together to take action on priority issues.
* Build on Ontario's leadership in protecting the Great Lakes, including our Great Lakes Strategy and partnerships with Canada, Quebec, U.S.A., and the Great Lakes states.

Species at Risk Spotlight

Pantherophis gloydi
Status: Threatened
Eastern Foxsnake (Credit: Joe Crowley)
There are 42 Species at Risk in the Muskoka-Parry Sound area, including the Eastern Foxsnake, the second largest snake in Ontario.

Learn about this species at risk, where you're likely to find it in Muskoka, and how you can help protect it and its habitat in the Species at Risk Factsheet.

What Does Sustainability Mean to MWC?

Ecological FootprintMany definitions have evolved for the terms “Sustainable Development” and “Sustainability”, as well as for various other terms related to the topic.
Although interactions between the environment, society and economy had been discussed previously, the 1987 Brundtland Report titled Our Common Future is credited with providing the original definition of Sustainable Development.

Events Calendar

  • March 16 - Highlands Headwater Champion Contest Closes. Winner announced March 22. www.muskokawatershed.org/blog/tlb-video-2015 
  • March 20 - Muskoka Watershed Council meeting. Public welcome to attend. Council Chambers, District of Muskoka administration building, Bracebridge. 1-3 pm. www.muskokawatershed.org 
  • March 16 - 22 - Canada Water Week. Theme: Know Your H2O! Visit our CWW education area in the Huntsville Place Mall to learn about water in Muskoka. 
  • March 22 - World Water Day. Theme: Water and Sustainable Development. www.unwater.org/worldwaterday
  • March 27-29 - Cottage Life Show. International Centre, Toronto. Visit our display booth in the wildlife education area! shows.cottagelife.com 
  • March 31 - Working Around Water Symposium hosted by the Muskoka Conservancy. Nipissing University, Bracebridge. Check out our booth to pick up a copy of the handbook. www.muskokaconservancy.org
  • April 17 - Muskoka Watershed Council meeting. Public welcome to attend. Council Chambers, District of Muskoka administration building, Bracebridge. 1-3 pm. www.muskokawatershed.org 
  • April 22 - REcharge 2015: Lakelands Association of REALTORS® Annual General Meeting and Trade Show. Deerhurst Resort, Huntsville. Visit our display booth for resources! thelakelands.ca 
  • May 2 - Muskoka Stewardship Conference. Nipissing University - Muskoka Campus, Bracebridge. Details to come. www.muskokawatershed.org

MWC is always looking for volunteers to help us champion watershed health. Please contact us today to learn about current volunteer opportunities!

Copyright © 2015 Muskoka Watershed Council, All rights reserved.
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