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Making Waves: Integrated Watershed Management & Floodplain Mapping

a flooded road with a road closed sign across it and another sign that reads "flooded areas"

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

The District of Muskoka has embarked on a new Making Waves Initiative, which includes floodplain mapping and implementing projects to guide Integrated Watershed Management in Muskoka.

Floodplain Mapping

As a result of flooding in Muskoka in the last decade, the District undertook a Floodplain Mapping Project (FPMP) to more accurately identify areas at risk of seasonal flooding. The goal was to have more information to assist with emergency management plans and help inform planning policies. The FPMP can also be used to determine what areas are most at risk through a number of assessments following completion of the project (such as total number of structures affected in an area, number of people affected, value of buildings affected, number of permanent homes affected, etc.)

Floodplain mapping is also critical to support informed decisions and investments to reduce the impacts of flooding in our communities. Development in flood-prone areas or floodplains can result in damage to properties if flooding or erosion occurs, and, in extreme cases, could result in loss of life.

 Visit this page for more information on flood preparedness, floodplain maps, and additional resources.

Integrated Watershed Management

The District of Muskoka has initiated a number of technical projects to characterize the Muskoka River Watershed. 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.

Visit this page for information on the Integrated Watershed Management Initiative including the Technical Projects.

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