The objectives of LOBA’s Environment Committee are:
- To monitor the environmental health of the Lake of Bays watershed – land and water – and to identify threats that could materially affect that health.
- To promote good stewardship practices that will aid in the sustainability and enhancement of the watershed.
- To ensure that Lake of Bays environmental concerns are fairly and accurately represented in decision making by the Township and District.
A major focus of the committee has and continues to be water quality testing. Sampling is done at least three times per season across approximately 21 sites and analysis is done on physical, chemical and biological indicators to provide comprehensive information on the character of Lake of Bays water. This is a long-term project. Total phosphorus testing has been done on the lake since the 1970s; bacteria testing was started in 2000; total phosphorus testing was expanded and refined in 2003 and benthic invertebrate testing is done periodically. LOBA has compiled sufficient information to establish a baseline for these indicators that now serves as the standard against which we measure change in our lake’s water quality. We have put time, effort and money into establishing a testing program that meets the standards being applied by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks and the District of Muskoka. All research results are being shared with these and other entities.
Other areas of interest for the Environment Committee are the promotion of Best Practices for:
- Shoreline preservation and rehabilitation
- Septic health
- Blue-green (cyanobacteria) monitoring
- Forest health
- Wetland health
- Citizen Science programs
- Invasive species education and outreach programs to identify and prevent the spread of invasive terrestrial, aquatic and insect species and pathogens
- Wildlife awareness