Pair Action-Based Approaches With Innovative Solutions
The most effective way forward in protecting Muskoka.
Bold Strategies For The Health Of Muskoka’s Natural Environment
Action is the most effective and efficient way to tackle Muskoka’s complex environmental challenges. But “act now” does not mean act rashly. We approach the environmental management process with a focus on both problem identification and problem prevention. Both are grounded with the credibility of science and data.
Here are the FMW programs that are receiving our focused time, effort and financial resources:
Phase One in Addressing Calcium Decline in the Muskoka Watershed | Complete
Now complete, the Hauling Ash to Solve Ecological Osteoporosis (HATSEO) project was the first phase in seeking a greater understanding of the dwindling calcium levels in Muskoka’s lakes and soils. These dropping calcium levels are causing a decline in the number of sugar maples in our forests, yield in maple sap production and even the crayfish in our lakes. All are signs that the health of the watershed is being threatened.
Through applied research, HATSEO explored, created, tested and refined an optimal way to collect, store and distribute wood ash. In doing so, we were able to confirm the viability of using wood ash to replenish the calcium levels within the local watershed.
Ultimately, this project provided a foundation for the work to come in the ASHMuskoka project and furthered our mission to ensure a healthier ecosystem, now and in the future.
Phase Two in Addressing Calcium Decline in the Muskoka Watershed | Active
ASHMuskoka is the second phase of the HATSEO project. This second phase offers a deeper exploration of the use of wood ash to restore the damages that the declining calcium levels have caused in Muskoka’s forests.
ASHMuskoka is a unique collaboration between scientists, municipal officials, and property owners, including the region’s maple sugar producers.
We’re grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their generous financial support in making this vital project possible.
Road Salt Management
Addressing the Increasing Chloride Levels in Muskoka Lakes | Active
Road salt negatively impacts the water quality within the watershed. In turn, it’s also harmful to the local wildlife, such as fish, birds, turtles and frogs.
With this in mind, we’re focused on lightening the road salt problem in Muskoka. Our presentations to the Watershed Council, and the District Engineering and Public Works committee, as well as our meetings with the District Chair and Commissioner of Public Works, led directly to the formation of the Muskoka Salt Reduction Committee.
The District budgeted $50,000 in funding and created this working committee to reduce the use of salt in Muskoka and bring the Smart About Salt program to the Muskoka community. We have membership on this committee and are working together to reduce the threats of road salt while still protecting your personal safety during difficult winter weather.ject possible.
With an Eye On Muskoka’s Future
Protecting Muskoka shouldn’t just focus on restoration. Prevention is equally (if not more) important in tackling emerging threats before they become overwhelmingly big and scary.
With this in mind, here are some of the local environmental threats on our radar:
- Increasing algal blooms in our lakes and rivers
- The ongoing impact of development on our watershed
- Local flooding in and around the Muskoka region
- Shifting action from restoration to prevention
Even The Smallest Action Can Make a Big Impact
FMW programs are designed to involve all the players in the process. Scientists, policy-makers, district government and even you, a member of our community. Join us in proving that even the smallest actions can have a huge impact when we all work together as a team.