Tag Archives: stewardship

Muskoka Minutes

I just finished the final edit and posted a couple of videos to YouTube that I shot back in July: Muskoka Minutes Slog, Muskoka Minutes Zoe.

The idea behind Muskoka Minutes is to show work being done by scientists and others in the field here in Muskoka on the Muskoka Watershed Council’s YouTube Channel. More details are here on the day spent tracking Blanding’s turtles, a species at risk in Ontario. My thanks to Jeremy, Kelsey, Mike and also Glenda.

Blanding’s Turtle

They used to have a much larger range in Ontario and were much more common in Muskoka – see below. They have many predators and like other turtle species have had their habitats carved up by roads.

Historic and current range of Blanding’s Turtles.

Our Lakes: How they have changed over the last 25 years.

I recorded this lecture by Dr. Michelle Palmer in July. One of the Muskoka Watershed Council lecture series.

Our Lakes: How they have changed over the last 25 years.

Dr. Michelle Palmer discusses how recent climatic warming, changes in acidic deposition, and human-related activities such as road salting and the accidental spread of invasive species have altered the water quality of our lakes in Muskoka, with a focus on changes in lake temperatures and water chemistry since the 1980s.

At the end there is an extensive Question & Answer session.

Calcium decline may hold answers to lake changes.

Biodiversity science for global environmental change.

At the biennial Muskoka Summit on the Environment Steve Hounsell from the Ontario Biodiversity Council presented Ontario’s Biodiversity Strategy – Protecting What Sustains Us.

On June 6th and 7th I recorded the presentations over the two day summit. Broadcast, in part, by CBC Radio’s Ideas with Paul Kennedy, (search for Buying Into Biodiversity), these were world-class lectures, presented here in Muskoka. I am delighted to be able to ensure these are available to the world.

I have just finished editing this lecture, which is now available at the following link on Muskoka Watershed Council’s YouTube channel: Ontario’s Biodiversity Strategy – Protecting What Sustains Us.

In this straightforward and important talk, Steve gives us an acronym to help understand threats to biodiversity, speaks of the need to link Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, and talks about the Strategic Biodiversity Plan for Ontario.

H I P P O soon to be C H I P P O.

Living Landscape. A Biodiversity Action Plan for Greater Sudbury

Many of us remember the really interesting, but bleak landscape that was Sudbury a few decades ago. As one of the epicentres of sulfur dioxide pollution from the nickel smelters, Sudbury’s landscape resembled the Moon, or Mars much more than the rest of Northern Ontario.

Well things are quite different now and Stephen Monet presents the 4th lecture from the biennial Muskoka Summit on the Environment . On June 6th and 7th I recorded the presentations over the two day summit. Broadcast, in part, by CBC Radio’s Ideas with Paul Kennedy, (search for Buying Into Biodiversity), these were world-class lectures, presented here in Muskoka. I am delighted to be able to ensure these are available to the world.

This lecture is now available at the following link on Muskoka Watershed Council’s YouTube channel: Living Landscape. A Biodiversity Action Plan for Greater Sudbury

Stephen takes us through the process of rehabilitating the Greater Sudbury area and commits that “we are in it for the long haul.”

Improving the lake is only a short term fix without improving the watershed.

This is a real community effort and the results are all headed in the right direction.

Students do some of the work and learn about biodiversity.

Biodiversity science for global environmental change.

Another highly engaging presentation, this one by Andrew Gonzalez of McGill University and the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science, is the 3rd lecture from the biennial Muskoka Summit on the Environment . On June 6th and 7th I recorded the presentations over the two day summit. Broadcast, in part, by CBC Radio’s Ideas with Paul Kennedy, (search for Buying Into Biodiversity), these were world-class lectures, presented here in Muskoka. I am delighted to be able to ensure these are available to the world.

This lecture is now available at the following link on Muskoka Watershed Council’s YouTube channel: Biodiversity science for global environmental change.

Using Baker’s yeast, Andrew and team observed “evolutionary rescue” – the recovery of a declining population due to local adaptation under increased environmental stress.

Extinction and evolutionary rescue with a robot

Among Andrew’s key messages: Biodiversity loss is as important as major forms of environmental change.

Changes in productivity – species loss compared to environmental change.

Cottager’s questions about lake quality answered.

Last  Saturday I made a presentation on behalf of the Muskoka Watershed Council to the Sparrow Lake Association. The SLA was founded way back in 1926,  and is one of many lake/cottager’s associations throughout Muskoka and elsewhere.

Sparrow Lake Association webpage.

As always, there were a lot of questions at the end of the talk and because we ran out of time, more questions one-on-one after the meeting.  It thought it might be helpful to repeat them here as sort of an FAQ about water quality and cottage waterfront living. But after typing out a few Q&As, I thought I should send you to a better source.

Michelle Palmer received her doctorate based on lake studies; specifically changes in our lakes over time. Recently I recorded, edited and posted a video of Dr. Palmer’s lecture which includes a Q&A session at the end: Our Lakes: How Have They Changed Over the Last 25 Years?

It’s not too late to catch the MWC lecture tonight.

Admission is by donation to the Muskoka Watershed Council. Just head for the Port Carling Community Centre at 7:00pm.

Our Lakes: How they have changed over the last 25 years.

Dr. Michelle Palmer will discuss how recent climatic warming, changes in acidic deposition, and human-related activities such as road salting and the accidental spread of invasive species have altered the water quality of our lakes in south-central Ontario, with a focus on changes in lake temperatures and water chemistry since the 1980s.

Emerging challenges and converging responses: Challenges and opportunities for conservation in an era of global change.

Engagingly presented by Jeremy Kerr of the University of Ottawa, this is the 2nd lecture from the biennial Muskoka Summit on the Environment . On June 6th and 7th I recorded the presentations over the two day summit. Broadcast, in part, by CBC Radio’s Ideas with Paul Kennedy, (search for Buying Into Biodiversity), these were world-class lectures, presented here in Muskoka. I am delighted to be able to ensure these are available to the world.

This lecture is now available at the following link on Muskoka Watershed Council’s YouTube channel: Emerging challenges and converging responses: Challenges and opportunities for conservation in an era of global change.

Against the backdrop of difficult times, where governments are in fact, no longer relevant in the development of much necessary research and solutions, Jeremy presents some opportunities: “What if citizen scientists could fill part of the data gap left by federal purges of scientific and environmental capacity?”

Check out ebutterfly.ca

Loss of biodiversity, is it important if we don’t see it?

As a volunteer, as well as being on the executive of the Muskoka Watershed Council, I am the videographer. 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 YouTube, lectures and presentations at Muskoka Watershed Council events.

A most important event is the biennial Muskoka Summit on the Environment. On June 6th and 7th I recorded the presentations over the two day summit. Broadcast, in part, by CBC Radio’s Ideas with Paul Kennedy, (search for Buying Into Biodiversity), these were world-class lectures, presented here in Muskoka. I am delighted to be able to ensure these are available to the world.

The first is now available at the following link on Muskoka Watershed Council’s YouTube channel: Loss of biodiversity, is it important if we don’t see it?

It was presented by Justina C. Ray Ph.D. of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Canada. Justina raises some of the most important questions and current thinking on biodiversity and explores how our thinking has shifted over time, making biodiversity loss less apparent to us.

Muskoka Watershed Council Report Card Presentation

I had the pleasure today to do a presentation on the 2010 Report Card on behalf of The Muskoka Watershed Council.

I was invited by John McCaig Vice President of Probus Huntsville to talk about the work of the Muskoka Watershed Council and detail the 2010 Report Card. We had a good session with many, many questions.

According to the surveys, and as I asked prior to the presentation,  there was very little prior knowledge about the Report Card or even the Muskoka Watershed Council itself. Afterward, I was very pleased to see many positive comments about the presentation with most people commenting that their knowledge of the watershed and good stewardship practices was increased substantially. It certainly makes it worthwhile.

Thank you to everyone in attendance, I enjoyed it immensely. -Steve