Making Waves: Integrated Watershed Management

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The Muskoka River Watershed is facing pressures due to increased development, severe weather events resulting from the changing climate, increased contaminants (e.g., nutrients and road salt), management of invasive species, loss of species at risk habitat, and shoreline erosion. Local residents are also concerned about water quality and quantity management and the impacts of flooding.


The Muskoka Watershed Advisory Group (MWAG) was appointed to advise the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) regarding priority geographic areas and issues in the Watershed. MWAG provided recommendations for projects across three key themes:

  • Integrated Watershed Management
  • Flood Mitigation
  • Watershed Enhancement

In 2020, the MWAG provided a report to the Minister, highlighting important issues facing the Muskoka River Watershed, including severity and risk of flooding, erosion and siltation, threats to water quality, threats to biodiversity and natural habitat, and the need for integrated watershed management.


After careful review and consideration of the Muskoka Watershed Advisory Group's recommendations and advice, in April 2021, the Province announced an initial investment of over $4 million to fund several projects aimed at examining the existing conditions in the Watershed and exploring ways to reduce the impacts of flooding and to address the health of the Muskoka River Watershed. The District of Muskoka is leading the majority of these projects, in partnership with the Muskoka Watershed Council.


The outcomes of these projects will set the stage to design a comprehensive approach to watershed management under which land-use decisions, environmental projects, infrastructure projects, and broader public policy options can be assessed. The initiative will support and advance the implementation of an Integrated Watershed Management approach for the Muskoka River Watershed by gathering information to:

  • Improve knowledge of the challenges facing the Muskoka River Watershed;
  • Better understand the causes of fluctuating water levels in the Muskoka River Watershed;
  • Improve understanding of erosion and siltation in the Muskoka River Watershed;
  • Improve knowledge of existing and emerging threats to water quality; and
  • Improve knowledge of emerging threats to biodiversity and natural habitat.

The District's 12 projects are divided into three phases. Please follow the following links to view the pages for these three phases:

The Muskoka Watershed Council is presently establishing a Community Round Table. For information on the Community Round Table or to participate, please contact info@muskokawatershed.org

Stay Informed:

To receive Integrated Watershed Management updates and to stay informed of all environmental initiatives being undertaken by the District, please subscribe to our courtesy notice list by entering your email address in the "Stay Informed" tool (located at the top right-hand corner of this page on your desktop, or scroll down on your mobile device) and click the subscribe button.



The Muskoka River Watershed is facing pressures due to increased development, severe weather events resulting from the changing climate, increased contaminants (e.g., nutrients and road salt), management of invasive species, loss of species at risk habitat, and shoreline erosion. Local residents are also concerned about water quality and quantity management and the impacts of flooding.


The Muskoka Watershed Advisory Group (MWAG) was appointed to advise the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) regarding priority geographic areas and issues in the Watershed. MWAG provided recommendations for projects across three key themes:

  • Integrated Watershed Management
  • Flood Mitigation
  • Watershed Enhancement

In 2020, the MWAG provided a report to the Minister, highlighting important issues facing the Muskoka River Watershed, including severity and risk of flooding, erosion and siltation, threats to water quality, threats to biodiversity and natural habitat, and the need for integrated watershed management.


After careful review and consideration of the Muskoka Watershed Advisory Group's recommendations and advice, in April 2021, the Province announced an initial investment of over $4 million to fund several projects aimed at examining the existing conditions in the Watershed and exploring ways to reduce the impacts of flooding and to address the health of the Muskoka River Watershed. The District of Muskoka is leading the majority of these projects, in partnership with the Muskoka Watershed Council.


The outcomes of these projects will set the stage to design a comprehensive approach to watershed management under which land-use decisions, environmental projects, infrastructure projects, and broader public policy options can be assessed. The initiative will support and advance the implementation of an Integrated Watershed Management approach for the Muskoka River Watershed by gathering information to:

  • Improve knowledge of the challenges facing the Muskoka River Watershed;
  • Better understand the causes of fluctuating water levels in the Muskoka River Watershed;
  • Improve understanding of erosion and siltation in the Muskoka River Watershed;
  • Improve knowledge of existing and emerging threats to water quality; and
  • Improve knowledge of emerging threats to biodiversity and natural habitat.

The District's 12 projects are divided into three phases. Please follow the following links to view the pages for these three phases:

The Muskoka Watershed Council is presently establishing a Community Round Table. For information on the Community Round Table or to participate, please contact info@muskokawatershed.org

Stay Informed:

To receive Integrated Watershed Management updates and to stay informed of all environmental initiatives being undertaken by the District, please subscribe to our courtesy notice list by entering your email address in the "Stay Informed" tool (located at the top right-hand corner of this page on your desktop, or scroll down on your mobile device) and click the subscribe button.



  • Request for Proposals Issued for Remaining Phase 1 and 2 Projects

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    The Request for Proposal process is underway for the remaining Phase 1 and Phase 2 projects that make up the Making Waves: Integrated Watershed Management Initiative. Competition closes on October 4th, and it is anticipated that the selected consultants will begin work on the projects later this fall.

    You can follow the Making Waves Initiative by clicking the “subscribe” button and entering your email address. You will receive important project updates including announcements when consultants are selected and when reports are published.

  • Expanded Flood Plain Mapping Underway!

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    Did You Know? The District of Muskoka completed 1,509 square kilometers of LiDAR Mapping and 1,404 kilometers of shoreline floodline mapping in 2020. Check out the Muskoka GeoHub to see the results!


    Building on the 2020 mapping results, the District has initiated a second phase of flood plain mapping. HATCH Ltd. is leading the mapping project, which is part of the Making Waves: Integrated Watershed Management Initiative. The mapping project is expected to be completed this winter, and site survey and mapping locations will be shared as soon as the data is available.


    Be sure to subscribe to the Making Waves: Integrated Watershed Management Initiative page to receive important project updates.