Muskoka Watershed Council is committed to the enhancement of the health and sustainability of the entire Muskoka River Watershed, from its headwaters in Algonquin Park to its outlets to Georgian Bay, as well as those parts of the Black-Severn River Watershed and the Georgian Bay shoreline and islands that lie within the District of Muskoka.
MWC was formed to educate on environmental issues, provide science-based environmental policy advice, and help address watershed management issues. MWC provides a framework for coordination and cooperation among key interests, and reports on the health of the watersheds on a regular basis.
To champion watershed health.
To sustain and enhance the water and terrestrial ecosystems of the area’s watersheds for the environmental, health, economic, spiritual and intrinsic values they provide.
Evaluate the Watersheds
Develop and implement science-based programs to research, assess, monitor and evaluate the health of Muskoka’s watersheds.
- Undertake and/or endorse research to better evaluate, understand, benchmark and monitor watershed health;
- Develop collaborative research relationships with governments, agencies, academia, business, industry, NGOs and associations with shared interests in watershed health, including water quality and quantity, habitat protection, air quality, climate change and land use planning; and
- Identify watershed health degradation, impairment and poor program delivery, along with watershed health improvement, quality and good program delivery.
Speak for the Watersheds
Provide advice on sound air, land and water use planning and management practices and policies that sustain and improve the health of Muskoka’s watersheds.
- Develop timely and informed position papers on watershed health;
- Advise on environmentally sustainable urban, rural and waterfront development design standards and best practices that enhance the traditional small town, rural, waterfront and wilderness character of the watersheds;
- Advise on sustainable use of natural resources including soils, forests, aggregates, bedrock, water and air;
- Advise on behaviour change that supports healthy watersheds;
- Advise on plans and programs to rehabilitate degraded areas;
- Provide comments to municipal governments on matters related to watershed health policy and related programs and initiatives; and
- Host public lectures, workshops and conferences.
Communicate and Educate
Develop and implement public information and education programs that promote understanding of the impact of human actions on the watersheds and encourage lifestyle choices that are compatible with healthy and functioning watersheds.
- Develop and publish the Muskoka Watershed Report Card;
- Enhance and promote access to the MWC resource library on watershed health and management;
- Publish science-based position papers and best practice information;
- Use state-of-the-art methods and techniques to communicate and educate, including publications, electronic media and face-to-face contact; and
- Regularly engage with the Councils of the watersheds’ municipal governments.
Promote and Demonstrate
Promote and facilitate demonstration activities and best practices that support a sustainable environment and a healthy community structure with a thriving economy.
- Promote environmentally responsible behaviour by individuals, government, business and industry by demonstrating lifestyle and best management practices that enhance the environmental, social and economic well-being of watershed communities;
- Seek out external funding sources to support watershed partner collaboration in demonstrating best practices;
- Participate in and strongly support various national and international environmentally sustaining behavior awareness initiatives; and
- Develop and promote our own Muskoka-based, local environmentally sustaining behavior awareness initiatives.