The program monitors approximately 190 sample locations across Muskoka on a rotating basis. The purpose of the program is to establish a long-term record of key parameters including phosphorus, dissolved oxygen, temperature and Secchi depth.
This program maps shorelines, vegetation and land use using a Geographic Information System (GIS) format. Data collected includes shoreline structures, shoreline vegetation, and near-shore land use.
Assistance is provided to lake association interested in a variety of monitoring protocols, many of which were listed above. Emphasis is placed on benthic and terrestrial programs.
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) runs the Ontario Lake Partner Program out of the Dorset Environmental Science Center, located in the eastern portion of Muskoka. The goal of the program is to protect the quality of Ontario's inland lakes by involving lake associations in a water quality monitoring program. Each year, hundreds of volunteers monitor for both clarity, using a Secchi disk, and nutrient enrichment, testing for total phosphorus.
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is involved in many watershed related issues. Water Resources Information Project is a project run by the Ministry of Natural Resources. They co-operate with all levels of government and partner agencies to:
The MNR also monitors specific lakes through the Muskoka Lakes Fisheries Assessment Unit.
The Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations (FOCA) encourages all lake associations to participate in the Lake Partner Program.
In 2005 FOCA has initiated the Docktalk program, which is a multi-year stewardship initiative to educate shoreline residents and improve the capacity of the Province's voluntary waterfront associations.
Many lake associations monitor a variety or parameters. Check the links below to learn more about these programs.