Protecting Muskoka’s Vulnerable Lakes: Causation Studies

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In order to protect one of Muskoka’s most valuable assets, the District undertakes a comprehensive recreational water quality monitoring program each year. The data collected from this program is used to identify lakes that are considered vulnerable based on specific water quality indicators such as confirmed blue-green algae blooms or increasing phosphorus levels.

When a lake is listed as vulnerable, one of the first steps outlined in the Muskoka Official Plan (MOP) is to initiate a waterbody-wide causation study to determine the causes and relative contributing factors to the identified water quality indicator(s).

Although the overall framework for undertaking a causation study is outlined in the MOP, studies are to be tailored to respond to the unique situations and contexts of individual lakes. Additionally, because the causation study approach is a new methodology, the approach and process is best initiated through a pilot project. Every causation study undertaken will be evidence-based through the use of the best available science.

The District of Muskoka has retained an environmental sciences consultant to undertake a Causation Study Pilot Project and Peninsula Lake has been selected to be studied first. A second Causation Study is also underway; which Stewart Lake has been selected for. Pending funding and other resources, the District plans to undertake causation studies for other vulnerable lakes, specifically Echo Lake, Leonard Lake and Three Mile Lake over the next two years. The complete list of vulnerable lakes can be found in Schedule E2 of the MOP.

STAY INFORMED:

To receive general causation study updates and to stay informed of future causation studies 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.

To follow a specific causation study, please select one of the current studies below and subscribe using the "Stay Informed" tool on the respective page.


In order to protect one of Muskoka’s most valuable assets, the District undertakes a comprehensive recreational water quality monitoring program each year. The data collected from this program is used to identify lakes that are considered vulnerable based on specific water quality indicators such as confirmed blue-green algae blooms or increasing phosphorus levels.

When a lake is listed as vulnerable, one of the first steps outlined in the Muskoka Official Plan (MOP) is to initiate a waterbody-wide causation study to determine the causes and relative contributing factors to the identified water quality indicator(s).

Although the overall framework for undertaking a causation study is outlined in the MOP, studies are to be tailored to respond to the unique situations and contexts of individual lakes. Additionally, because the causation study approach is a new methodology, the approach and process is best initiated through a pilot project. Every causation study undertaken will be evidence-based through the use of the best available science.

The District of Muskoka has retained an environmental sciences consultant to undertake a Causation Study Pilot Project and Peninsula Lake has been selected to be studied first. A second Causation Study is also underway; which Stewart Lake has been selected for. Pending funding and other resources, the District plans to undertake causation studies for other vulnerable lakes, specifically Echo Lake, Leonard Lake and Three Mile Lake over the next two years. The complete list of vulnerable lakes can be found in Schedule E2 of the MOP.

STAY INFORMED:

To receive general causation study updates and to stay informed of future causation studies 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.

To follow a specific causation study, please select one of the current studies below and subscribe using the "Stay Informed" tool on the respective page.


  • Stewart Lake

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    06 August, 2020

  • Peninsula Lake

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    06 August, 2020