January 2015

Welcome MWC's new Director of Environmental and Watershed Programs!

Christy DoyleMuskoka Watershed Council is very excited to welcome Christy Doyle, the new Director of Environmental and Watershed Programs, to the organization beginning January 26th.
Christy is a Registered Professional Planner with experience in Muskoka and across Ontario in both the public and private sectors. After spending much of her childhood near Huntsville, Christy began her planning career in Muskoka and, together with her husband and their young daughter, she is looking forward to making Muskoka home again.
Christy has a Bachelor of Arts (Geography) from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Environmental Studies (Planning) from York University. Her belief that effective stewardship of Muskoka's environment must continue to be addressed through sound environmental policy and compelling community programming makes her an ideal fit for her role with MWC and The District Municipality of Muskoka.

Welcome Christy!

Handbook is the Focus of the 2015 Conference

Living in Cottage Country HandbookThe Living in Cottage Country: What You Need to Know handbook, available for sale in February, will be the focus of the upcoming 2015 Muskoka Stewardship Conference.
The same features – cool water, clean air, healthy forests and abundant wildlife – that brought us all to cottage country are the very features most in danger of being lost unless we protect them. It may seem like a daunting task, but it isn’t!
The Living in Cottage Country handbook contains simple, everyday actions that can keep your piece of cottage country healthy while complying with the various guidelines, regulations and by-laws that exist.
The 2015 Muskoka Stewardship Conference, scheduled for Saturday, May 2nd, will cover topics outlined in the handbook, including drinking water, septic systems, healthy buffers, living with wildlife, and complying with regulations and by-laws.
Check out the February edition of Downstream for details about the 2015 Muskoka Stewardship Conference.

Become a Highlands Headwater Champion and win!

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.
It's time to renew your membership!

REALTORS® Looking After Watershed Health

The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®We’re excited to be working with The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® to inspire support for healthy watersheds in the Muskoka region. As a first point of contact with newcomers to the area, REALTORS® have the ability to make lasting impacts on new and existing Muskokans by keeping up-to-date with watershed health activities, sharing relevant information with their clients and encouraging participation in educational events and stewardship initiatives.
The perfect way for REALTORS® to stay informed and support our mission to “champion watershed health” is to participate in a membership drive with Friends of the Muskoka Watershed. REALTORS® are encouraged to become a member of the organization for only $25 a year and provide complimentary memberships and educational resources as gifts to clients upon closing a deal. This spring, Dr. Peter Sale, Chair of MWC, will also be hosting an education session for interested REALTORS® at Nipissing University.
MWC Retirement Gift

Thank You Judi!

At the November 28th MWC meeting, MWC Chair Peter Sale presented retiring Director of Watershed Programs Judi Brouse with a framed photograph of Lake of Bays by Scott Young on behalf of past and current MWC members.

Paddling Event Donates to MWC

The 2014 Great Muskoka Paddling Experience (GMPE) was a great success, raising $3,500 for MWC. GMPE organizer Sandy Schofield attended the MWC meeting on November 28th to present a cheque to MWC chair Peter Sale. 
Despite the difficult weather on October 11th, GMPE saw an increase in the number of paddlers as well as the number of boats over previous years. 164 paddlers in 127 canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards took to the water to earn trophies, medals and prizes in over 30 categories, including a 2.5 km family fun run from Annie Williams Park up river to Bracebridge Falls and back.
Below: GMPE organizer Sandy Schofield (left) presents a cheque for $3,500 to MWC chair Peter Sale (right) and FMW board members Peter Seybold and Debbie Vernon (centre).
2014 GMPE Donation

Aquatic Invasive Plant Species Monitoring Program

The Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA), in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF), has launched the FOCA Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Monitoring Program to engage cottage associations and their members in monitoring for aquatic invasive plants.
EDDMapS OntarioThis FOCA program promotes education and awareness of AIS and facilitates early detection, monitoring and data collection using EDDMapS Ontario. An association tool kit will be released in the spring of 2015 that will include educational resources and materials to educate volunteers on aquatic invasive plant identification, and train volunteers on how to monitor AIS using EDDMapS Ontario.

Workshops on Walleye and Fisheries Health

The Eastern Georgian Bay Stewardship Council is developing a community outreach strategy on Walleye and fisheries health. They would like to hear your perspective on Walleye issues in your community, or additional fisheries issues that you feel are important. There will be presentations on Walleye dynamics in Eastern Georgian Bay as well as past and upcoming projects.
They are hosting two workshops to talk about their project and hear about your issues, ideas and solutions. Refreshments will be offered.
WalleyeWorkshop #1 (South)
Monday, February 2nd
Baxter Ward Community Centre, Port Severn
Time: 1 pm - 4 pm
Workshop #2 (North)
Wednesday, February 4th
Magnetawan First Nation
Time: 1 pm - 4 pm
To register or find out more information, contact:
Julia Sutton, EGBSC Coordinator
705-685-7532 or egbaystewardship@gmail.com

Species at Risk Spotlight

Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Status: Special Concern

Bald Eagle (photo: Eric Frommer)

There are 42 Species at Risk in the Muskoka-Parry Sound area, including the Bald Eagle, a very large bird of prey with a white head, neck and tail and a wingspan of up to 2 metres.
After nearly becoming extinct due to the widespread use of pesticides like DDT following WWII, populations of this bird seem to be recovering, making the Bald Eagle a conservation success story.

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.

World Wetlands Day - February 2nd

Our Future Depends on Wetlands!
They purify and replenish our water, and provide the fish and rice that feed billions. Wetlands act as a natural sponge against flooding and drought, and protect our coastlines. They burst with biodiversity, and are a vital means of storing carbon.

Unfortunately, these benefits are not widely known. Often viewed as wasteland, 64% of the World's wetlands have disappeared since 1900.
World Wetlands Day - 2 February 2015

Events Calendar

  • February 2 - World Wetlands Day. Theme: Wetlands for our Future. www.worldwetlandsday.org 
  • February 2 & 4 - Workshops on Walleye and Fisheries Health. Eastern Georgian Bay Stewardship Council. 1 - 4 pm. egbaystewardship@gmail.com 
  • February 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 - 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! canadawaterweek.com 
  • March 22 - World Water Day. Theme: Water and Sustainable Development. www.unwater.org/worldwaterday
  • April 17 - Muskoka Watershed Council meeting. Public welcome to attend. Council Chambers, District of Muskoka administration building, Bracebridge. 1-3 pm. www.muskokawatershed.org 
  • May 2 - Muskoka Stewardship Conference. Nipissing University - Muskoka Campus, Bracebridge. Details to come. www.muskokawatershed.org
Copyright © 2015 Muskoka Watershed Council, All rights reserved.
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