Category Archives: Muskoka Watershed Council

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.

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.

 

 

Timber harvesting and the health of our lakes: The Calcium Story

©www.cottageinmuskoka.ca
©www.cottageinmuskoka.ca

Mentioned in a number of Muskoka Watershed Council lectures over the past few years, calcium decline in Muskoka Lakes and in particular, the consequences of timber harvesting on lake calcium levels have been hinted at as a potential direct cause of declining health of our lakes in Muskoka. Here’s a past primer news story from the Huntsville Forester (Cottage Country News).
This week, we have an opportunity to discover more.

Dr. Shaun Watmough, an Associate Professor in the Environmental Resource Science Program at Trent University in Peterborough will present.
Here is a synopsis of the lecture:
Decades of acid deposition have depleted soil calcium reserves and, when combined with timber harvesting, predicted losses of calcium from soil are considerable and may ultimately threaten long-term forest health and productivity and lead to negative impacts on lakes.
In this talk, Dr. Watmough will provide an overview of our current understanding of calcium biogeochemistry and describe the reasons for the widespread decline in calcium levels in lakes and the implications of calcium losses on soil fertility and forest health in addition to impacts on lake ecosystems.
With an emphasis on south central Ontario, Dr. Watmough will document a nutrient budget for a selection harvesting regime in central Ontario hardwood forests. This work is then extrapolated to regional harvesting activities and management issues are discussed.

The lecture is this Thursday, October 10, 2013 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm at Nipissing University – Muskoka Campus, 125 Wellington Street, Bracebridge, P1L 1E2. As always, admission is by donation

The link for this lecture and registration is here.

Muskoka. Our environment is far more than our economy.

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.

All of us should be familiar with the fact that in Muskoka, our environment is our economy; over half our GDP comes from tourism and cottaging. In this lecture, Peter Sale attempts to convince us that our environment is far more than our economy.
sale

Every year some 5 billion cubic metres of water pass through Muskoka – that’s 3 1/2 times the entire volume of Lake Muskoka. Half is evaporated or transpired by Muskoka’s forests and plants, the other half – some 2.5 billion cubic metres flows into Georgian Bay. As climate change affects Muskoka – producing warmer and wetter winters, but dryer summers with more intense storms – we may be trying to find ways to hold on to that water, just a little longer; maybe the beaver has a solution for us.

wetlands 5

Peter, who describes himself as a strange, but harmless ecologist, talks about some of the many creatures in Muskoka including the beaver, the expected effects for Muskoka from climate change, an idea or two on solutions, and that there are other ways of valuing our environment other than simply to value it as a storehouse of resources to dig up and take away.

Algae and Water Quality. Looking back to see the future

As mentioned in previous posts, cottage owners and cottage buyers want to know about water quality on lakes in Muskoka. Because water quality has a direct relationship to property value, and algae – particularly algal blooms – directly affect water quality, we all want to know as much as we can .

I just completed and uploaded a video here for the Muskoka Watershed Council YouTube page. The subject is a talk that was presented by Dr. Andrew Paterson of the Dorset Environmental Centre at the Muskoka Stewardship Conference at Nipissing University in Muskoka (Bracebridge). The event’s theme was What Are You Watching?

2013_Theme_2_sm

This highly interesting talk looks at studying lake sediments deposited over hundreds – and even thousands of years. Sediments are archives of environmental change and within them are clues to possible triggers of algae outbreaks.

Dr. Paterson talks about sediment research done in Lake of the Woods in north-western Ontario and the Hudson Bay Lowlands which may help scientist understand occurrences in the lakes of Muskoka. There is discussion on the relationship between water quality and property value for cottagers. The seeming paradox of stable or even declining phosphorous levels – the usual algal bloom suspect- at the same time as blue-green outbreaks are increasing. And of course, the effect of climate change.

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Algal Bloom Three Mile Lake 2005

Of particular note is the 2005 toxic algal bloom in Three Mile Lake in 2005, where research may indicate the possible triggers of record high temperatures coupled with record low precipitation which occurred in the fall of 2005 in Muskoka.

Slide 1

There is significant evidence that a warming climate is related to the increase in algal blooms. Dr. Paterson suggests that if algae was the music that we hear from a radio: then phosphorous is the volume; other nutrients (particularly nitrogen), light, etc., influence what species are present – are the “tuning”; and climate is the antenna. The presentation concludes that blue-green algae likes it hot!

Slide 1

Click here for the link to the video on YouTube.