Category Archives: Muskoka Activities

2014 Muskoka Summit on the Environment

I am a volunteer in Muskoka. As well as being on the executive of the Muskoka Watershed Council, I am also  the videographer/video editor. This gives me a great opportunity to ensure that truly wonderful ideas and presentations are not lost after the words are spoken and the video projector is turned off. I record, edit and post to our YouTube channel, lectures and presentations at Muskoka Watershed Council events.

Kai Chan from the University of British Columbia presents the 3rd lecture from the 2014 Muskoka Summit on the Environment. On June 8th and 9th I recorded the presentations over the two day summit. Broadcast, in part, by CBC Radio’s Ideas with Paul Kennedy, (here’s the 2014 Muskoka Summit CBC broadcast), these were world-class lectures, presented here in Muskoka. I am delighted to be able to ensure these are available to the world.

CBC Ideas: Muskoka Summit on the Environment
CBC Ideas: Muskoka Summit on the Environment

Kai’s engaging presentation: Towards a Future Both Better and Wilder: Harmony Through Small-Planet Ethics.

It is time for small-planet ethics, wherein we treat our planet as we do our house and home.

The question, of course, is how to enable such behavior. The answer—to be elaborated—lies in unlocking the immense potential of human ingenuity and compassion, and the filtering the current cacophony of competing noise. Enable people and organizations to contribute simply and enjoyably—but meaningfully—to a future both better and wilder, and they will.

Copyright © 2014 cottageinmuskoka.ca, All rights reserved.

 

2014 Muskoka Summit on the Environment

As a volunteer, as well as being on the executive of the Muskoka Watershed Council, I am the videographer/video editor. This gives me a great opportunity to ensure that truly wonderful ideas and presentations are not lost after the words are spoken and the video projector is turned off. I record, edit and post to our YouTube channel, lectures and presentations at Muskoka Watershed Council events.

Elena Bennett from McGill University presents the 2nd lecture from the 2014 Muskoka Summit on the Environment. On June 8th and 9th I recorded the presentations over the two day summit. Broadcast, in part, by CBC Radio’s Ideas with Paul Kennedy, (here’s the 2014 Muskoka Summit CBC broadcast), these were world-class lectures, presented here in Muskoka. I am delighted to be able to ensure these are available to the world.

CBC Ideas: Muskoka Summit on the Environment
CBC Ideas: Muskoka Summit on the Environment

Understanding the relationship and implications of planning future multiple land use – bundling cottage use with agriculture for example – can help municipalities and land owners. This lecture is now available at the following link on Muskoka Watershed Council’s YouTube channel: Using Ecosystem Services to Design Multifunctional Landscapes. With a project still underway in La Vallée-du-Richelieu, Elena discusses how communities and scientists can get together to plan land use (bundling certain ecosystem services) while minimizing some negative environmental impacts.

The Question & Answer video is also available here.

The length of the "petals on the "flower" indicate the amount of the ecosystem service provided.
The length of the “petals on the “flower” indicate the amount of the ecosystem service provided.

Copyright © 2014 cottageinmuskoka.ca, All rights reserved.

Robert Sandford Questions & Answers

I just completed and posted another video of Robert Sandford from the University of Saskatchewan, at the 2014 Muskoka Summit on the Environment.

This is the question & answer session following his talk: Come Hell & High Water:
Scientific Truth and Economic Consequences In Hollywood Disaster Movies mentioned here.

Copyright © 2014 cottageinmuskoka.ca, All rights reserved.

Shark-Filled Tornado (Sharknado) Unlikely in Muskoka!

Don’t be put off by the “grabber” title; this is an engaging and informative presentation on hydrologic change brought about by Climate Change and well worth your time.

As a volunteer, as well as being on the executive of the Muskoka Watershed Council, I am the videographer/video editor. This gives me a great opportunity to ensure that truly wonderful ideas and presentations are not lost after the words are spoken and the video projector is turned off. I record, edit and post to our YouTube channel, lectures and presentations at Muskoka Watershed Council events.

A highly engaging presentation, this one by Robert Sandford of the University of Saskatchewan, is the 1st lecture from the 2014 Muskoka Summit on the Environment . On June 8th and 9th I recorded the presentations over the two day summit. Broadcast, in part, by CBC Radio’s Ideas with Paul Kennedy, (here’s the 2014 Muskoka Summit CBC broadcast), these were world-class lectures, presented here in Muskoka. I am delighted to be able to ensure these are available to the world.

CBC Ideas: Muskoka Summit on the Environment
CBC Ideas: Muskoka Summit on the Environment

This lecture is now available at the following link on Muskoka Watershed Council’s YouTube channel: Come Hell & High Water:
Scientific Truth and Economic Consequences
In Hollywood Disaster Movies 
 In this entertaining and informative talk, Robert compares Hollywood’s ideas of environmental disasters and their consequences to the realities we all face today.

Sharknado; probably not in Muskoka
Sharknado; probably not in Muskoka.

Among Robert’s key messages: It’s time for courageous and relentless citizenship.

One Atmospheric River can hold the same amount of water as the daily output of the St. Lawrence
One Atmospheric River can hold the same amount of water as the daily output of the St. Lawrence

Copyright © 2014 cottageinmuskoka.ca, All rights reserved.

Muskoka Lakes Association – Ministry of Natural Resources – Muskoka Parry Sound Flood Warning update

The Muskoka Lakes Association just sent the following update which includes a detailed report from the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Specific current levels are indicated for the following lakes: Tea Lake, Kawagama Lake, Lake of Bays, Wood Lake, Fox Lake, Mary Lake, Lake Rosseau, Lake Joseph, Lake Muskoka, Go Home Lake, Perry Lake, Doe Lake, Bernard Lake, Cecebe Lake, Ahmic Lake, Forest Lake, Dollars Lake, Crane Lake, Otter Lake and Oastler Lake.
Plus the current status of the river flows for the Big East, North Muskoka, South Muskoka, Oxtongue, Black, North Magnetawan, South Magnetawan, Magnetawan, Moon River, Musquash River and the Shawanaga River.

Here’s the message from the MLA and the linked .pdf below it.

mloa

To: steve@cottageinmuskoka.ca:

As promised, the MLA continues to monitor water levels throughout our catchment area.
The attached freshet update, issued yesterday afternoon, details current watershed conditions throughout Muskoka/Parry Sound.
We encourage you to review the attached document, which provides significant detail, and to take action to protect property if your residence is located in one of the affected areas.

Muskoka Lakes Association

2546_MNR_Update_-_Parry_Sound_Muskoka_-_April_25_2014

Sales of cottage properties rose 18% in March 2014 compared to March 2013.

Residential and cottage activity both up year-over-year in March

Residential sales activity recorded through the MLS® system of Muskoka Haliburton Orillia – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® numbered 204 units in March 2014. This was up 19 per cent from March 2013. Sales of cottage properties rose 18 per cent from a year earlier to 39 units in March 2014.

“While the year-over-year increases for March 2014 look about the same, residential sales surged above 200 units in the month of March for just the fourth time in history, while cottage sales were still running below the historical average for the month,” Mike Stahls, President of Muskoka Haliburton Orillia – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®. “In fact, the 77 per cent month-over-month increase in residential transactions from still subdued levels in February to very strong levels in March was the largest on record. This likely reflects, at least in part, the release of some pent-up demand following an unusually harsh winter.”

The median price for residential property sales was a record $225,000 in March 2014, up 13 per cent from a low reading a year earlier.

The median price for cottage sales was $385,000 in March 2014, a decline of eight per cent compared to March 2013.

The dollar value of all residential sales in March 2014 totalled $48.9 million, an increase of 35 per cent on a year-over-year basis and the highest level for this month on record.

The total value of cottage sales was $15.4 million. This was up 20 per cent from a year earlier.

Detailed – Cottage Sales and Median Price by Area
Cottage
By Area Unit Sales Median Sale Price
March 2014 March 2013 Year-over-year
percentage
change
March 2014 March 2013 Year-over-year
percentage
change
Muskoka 15 10 50.0 $400,000 $420,750 -4.9
Haliburton 4 6 -33.3 $121,000 $421,250 -71.3

 

Important information

The average price information quoted can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods, or account for price differentials between geographical areas and property types.

The area served by the more than 670 REALTORS® who belong to Muskoka Haliburton Orillia – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®, is located less than a two-hour drive north of Toronto, in the heart of Canada’s Cottage Country. There are several major geographical areas within the Association’s boundaries, including the City of Orillia, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Muskoka Lakes, Huntsville, Almaguin Highlands, Lake of Bays and Haliburton. Each of these areas has a unique blend of properties ranging from residential homes located in the City of Orillia and smaller towns located throughout the remaining areas and the prestigious year-round recreational properties on large lakes, and lower and mid-range priced cottage properties on the smaller serene lakes.

Muskoka, Parry Sound Flooding Update

The following was issued April 22, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.:

The Ministry of Natural Resources – Parry Sound District is advising area residents that a Flood Warning remains in effect.

Residents within the Parry Sound-Muskoka area are advised that some additional or prolonged flooding will occur within known flood-prone areas of many rivers and lakes. Recent warm air temperatures and rainfall has now accelerated the melting rate of the remaining snow pack with an increased runoff into local waterbodies. High water levels or flooding will occur over the next 24-48 hours within Lake Muskoka and the Moon River as part of the lower Muskoka River sub-watershed.

Residents are advised to keep a close watch on conditions, regularly check for updated messages and exercise caution around rivers and lakes as high water levels and flows continue. There is the potential for higher water levels and flows than what is currently being experienced.Residents may wish to take action to protect property in flood-prone or vulnerable areas. MNR is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions. Further updates to this Flood Warning will be issued as appropriate.

Description of Weather System
The current weather forecast through to Saturday April 26th is for daytime temperatures in the range of 5-10 degrees Celsius with near freezing nighttime temperatures. Today’s forecast is calling for a range of 3-30mm of rainfall Friday through Saturday.

Description of Current Conditions
A significant amount of the remaining snowpack has melted in recent days due to warm air temperature and rainfall, increasing the runoff into local river systems. A significant amount of snow still remains within local watersheds at higher elevation areas including the western slopes of Algonquin Park; the headwaters of some local river systems. Forecasted temperatures and rainfall will continue to melt the remaining snow pack with continued runoff into local river systems and lakes.
Expiry Date: This message will expire Friday April 25, 2014; 5:00 pm

Terminology: Notification Levels

WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – FLOOD OUTLOOK: gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions

WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY: indicates that high flows, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for such users as boaters, anglers and swimmers but flooding is not expected.

FLOOD WATCH: potential for flooding exists within specific watercourses and municipalities

** FLOOD WARNING: flooding is imminent or occurring within specific watercourses and municipalities.
Contact Information
For more information please contact: Ministry of Natural Resources Parry Sound District: 705-646-5509 or 705-646-5531

A close watch on local conditions and weather forecasts from Environment Canada is recommended. Environment Canada bulletins can be found at http://weather.gc.ca/

The Surface Water Monitoring Centre public webpage can be found here: www.ontario.ca/flooding

Parry Sound, Muskoka: MNR issues a Flood Warning

In case you missed it, the following was Issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.

The Ministry of Natural Resources -Click here to enter text. Parry Sound District is advising residents within flood-prone locations that a Flood Warning is in effect as flooding is imminent. Residents affected by flooding in past years are advised to take immediate action to secure or protect property in advance of river flows and lake levels rising to flood levels.

Those residents that have evacuated their homes in past years due to flooding may wish to make similar preparations at this time as rising water levels will hinder, limit or prevent the ability to evacuate as driveways and roads in lower-lying locations become impassible.

All residents in close proximity to local rivers are advised to keep a close watch on conditions, regularly check for updated messages and exercise caution as river flows and levels rise.

MNR continues to monitor weather conditions and flows and water levels. Further updates to this Flood Warning will be issued as conditions change.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION

Description of Weather System

The current forecast is calling for 45mm or more precipitation beginning the evening of Saturday April 12th through Monday April 14th. The forecast through to next Monday is for daytime high temperatures up to 16 degrees Celsius with near freezing nighttime temperatures.

Description of Current Conditions

The water content within the existing snow pack throughout local watersheds continues to be greater than the normal or historical average for early April. Forecasted temperatures and rainfall will significantly accelerate the melt of the snow pack Saturday through Monday. It is expected that the melting of the snow pack and rainfall amounts will significantly increase the amount of runoff into local rivers and lakes.

Expiry Date: This message will expire Wednesday April 16, 2014; 12:00 pm

Terminology: Notification Levels

WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – FLOOD OUTLOOK: gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions

WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY: indicates that high flows, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for such users as boaters, anglers and swimmers but flooding is not expected.

FLOOD WATCH: potential for flooding exists within specific watercourses and municipalities

** FLOOD WARNING: flooding is imminent or occurring within specific watercourses and municipalities.

Contact Information

For more information please contact:

First Nation and Municipalities please contact: 705-646-5531

Other Inquiries please contact:  705-646-5509

A close watch on local conditions and weather forecasts from Environment Canada is recommended. Environment Canada bulletins can be found at http://weather.gc.ca/

The Surface Water Monitoring Centre public webpage can be found here: www.ontario.ca/flood

In Muskoka, the environment is the economy. For cottagers, protecting the Muskoka watershed, protects your investment.

This is the most important thing you can do today to help protect the Muskoka watershed which gives us all so much everyday!

The Muskoka Watershed Council has launched an online campaign to bring the 2014 Watershed Report Card to life! This new user-friendly digital report card will provide information on water quality; phosphorus levels in your lake, the likelihood your lake will get algal blooms, the health of your wetlands and tons more. What is not measured cannot be managed. If you love Muskoka and care about protecting its natural beauty please get involved! There are many ways you can help:

  • Leave comments on the campaign page
    • What do you think of this project?
  • Share the link with interested friends and family members
    • Know anyone who loves our scenic environment? Fwd this email!

Please visit the campaign page for further details about this project. It is important to have active participation during the first week of the campaign, so please do what you can to share the care of this special place of rocks, trees, and especially water, that we all love. A small contribution can make a big difference to the protection of our environment. Tell us what you think of the campaign by leaving a comment on the campaign page: www.igg.me/at/StewardshipWorks.

 

We are very fortunate to have such a passionate network of people supporting our mission to champion watershed health in Muskoka and its associated watersheds.

 

Thank you!

Muskoka’s Lakes: The Calcium Story

Dr. Watmough explains  implications of calcium losses on lake ecosystems.
Dr. Watmough explains implications of calcium losses on lake ecosystems.

As mentioned last month in this cottageinmuskoka blog entry and this news story from the Huntsville Forester (Cottage Country Now), the decline of calcium in our lakes can affect our lakes recovery from acid rain as well as zooplankton in our lakes, which are are very sensitive to declining calcium levels.

From the Muskoka Watershed Council Lecture Series I have just finished editing and have just posted this video on the Muskoka Watershed Council’s YouTube page.

This is interesting information of value not only for those who own a cottage in Muskoka, but all of us who live in or visit Muskoka. In the presentation Dr. Shaun Watmough of Trent University helps us understand:

Why should we care about calcium in the environment?

How are calcium levels in lakes, vegetation and soils changing?

What is causing these changes?

What will be the impact of timber harvesting on lake calcium levels?

What are the critical uncertainties?

Declining calcium slows the recovery of acidic lakes.
Declining calcium slows the recovery of acidic lakes.