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A New Leaf - Muskoka's Climate Change Strategy

a rock shoreline with pine trees abutting a lake

Muskoka’s climate is changing. As a result, the Muskoka of tomorrow will be drastically different than the Muskoka of the past. Climate change is expected to bring significant changes to Muskoka’s weather patterns, ecosystems and infrastructure, and taking action now is necessary to increase the resiliency of the District of Muskoka’s assets and programs to prepare for these changes.

Equally important is to reduce, eliminate or sequester (where possible) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with District activities, infrastructure and projects that can further contribute to climate heating.

On October 19, 2020, Muskoka District Council declared a Climate Emergency, a declaration that deepens the District’s commitment to protecting Muskoka’s economy, community, and ecosystems from the impacts of our changing climate.  On December 21, 2020, Council also approved “A New Leaf: Muskoka’s Climate Strategy” to address climate change at both corporate and community levels.

Learn more about climate change initiatives in Muskoka below:

A New Leaf - Muskoka's Comprehensive Climate Change Strategy
A New Leaf is Muskoka’s comprehensive climate change strategy. It is a set of integrated directions and practical actions proposed to manage and reduce Muskoka’s contribution to climate change, and to prioritize adaptation goals, actions, and programs to prevent or minimize the impacts of projected local climatic changes. The strategy consists of six components:
  1. The corporate climate change action plan called the Muskoka Climate Change Action Plan (MCCAP);
  2. A corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategy;
  3. A Muskoka-wide GHG reduction strategy;
  4. Education and Outreach;
  5. Partnerships; and
  6. Seeking and securing funding.

Read more about A New Leaf at the following link: Presentation to District Council - A New Leaf

The District will engage residents and stakeholders in these initiatives in the upcoming months through the Engage Muskoka platform. This webpage will be updated when more information is available.

Municipal Partners in Climate Action: New Leaf Community Working Group

As part of the District of Muskoka’s A New Leaf, Muskoka’s Climate Change Strategy, the District has partnered with 5 Area Municipalities (Town of Bracebridge, Town of Gravenhurst, Township of Muskoka Lakes, Township of Lake of Bays, Town of Huntsville) to assess climate risk and vulnerabilities in Muskoka by participating in ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) Canada’s Advancing Adaptations: Vulnerability and Risk Assessment project. The outcome of this 14-month project will be a regional climate change adaptation plan that outlines actions to prepare our communities and corporations for local climate change implications.

To advance this project, the District and Area Municipal Partners have formed a New Leaf Community Working Group (NLCWG). The purpose of the NLCWG is to share and gather information on how the community has already been impacted by climate change, identify future climate change impacts, and assess climate change vulnerabilities and risks on a regional scale. This information will inform the regional climate change adaptation plan.

To learn more about the New Leaf Working Group, please visit: https://www.engagemuskoka.ca/new-leaf-community-working-group

Muskoka's Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Initiative
As part of A New Leaf, the District is developing a corporate and community Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory and Emission Reduction Strategy to decrease GHG emissions in Muskoka. This project is incorporated in components 2 and 3 of the New Leaf Strategy.

Muskoka GHG Initiatives project page is live on the Engage Muskoka Platform. This page is an information hub and community engagement portal for the work being undertaken on this project. Opportunities for community participation will be posted to the page including stakeholder meeting dates, public surveys and community conversations.

Click Here to visit the Muskoka Greenhouse Gas Initiative Project Page

 

Climate Change Community Engagement Webinars, Videos and Resources
  • To celebrate Earth Day 2021, The Muskoka Steamships and Discovery Centre welcomed local experts to talk about climate change, the impact on Muskoka, and the ways you can make a difference. You can view the recorded webinars on the Love Muskoka ♥ Sustain Muskoka website.
  • The Muskoka Lakes Association hosted a webinar called "Muskoka Lakes Water Levels - Past, Present and Future" to give waterfront property owners a better understanding of how spring floods happen, how we manage water levels today and what future water level management in Muskoka could look like. Click here to open the webinar video to watch!

Plans, Strategies and Key Documents:

A New Leaf - Muskoka's Comprehensive Climate Change Strategy:

Muskoka Corporate Climate Change Action Plan

Greenhouse Gas Initiatives Staff Report to Committee and Council

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