FORMING ADVISORY GROUP A PRIORITY FOR MUSKOKA WATERSHED CONSERVATION INITIATIVE
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By Cori Marshall
Last week WaterToday reported on the $5 million investment that the government of Ontario is making into the Muskoka Watershed Conservation and Management Initiative. On top of the initial investment, the government will match any private donation to the project up to an additional $5 million.
Lindsay Davidson, Communications Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks, said that at the Ministry they believe "more can be done to address environmental challenges facing the Muskoka area." The challenges the watershed is facing "include increased development pressures, flooding due to severe weather events, increased nutrient loadings, shoreline erosion and algal blooms."
Two weeks ago blue-green algal blooms were confirmed in Three Mile Lake and Clark Falls - Lake Rosseau in the Township of Muskoka Lakes.
"This initiative will help us develop a more comprehensive approach to watershed management in Muskoka that can be applied to other watersheds in Ontario."
Lindsay Davidson, Communications Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks
An advisory group made up of different stakeholders in the area is a significant part of the initiative. The group "will engage local organizations, municipal representatives, Indigenous communities, and the broader community," Davidson said, "the priority is to start by forming the advisory group." The group will identify projects that should be part of the initiative.
Davidson explained the initiative "will support studies that build on existing knowledge and efforts." Davidson underlined that "effective watershed is beneficial to everyone."
Davidson was unable to elaborate on the specifics of the initiative. He said that "more details on the timeline for this initiative will be available at a later date." For the time being area residents and visitors alike know that $5 million is being pumped into the are to protect the watershed.
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