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Muskoka's changing shorelines: The need for long-term monitoring of shoreline development

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Title: Muskoka's changing shorelines: The need for long-term monitoring of shoreline development
Author: Rau, Monika
Department: School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Advisor: Caldwell, Wayne
Abstract: The District of Muskoka has been a popular tourist destination for summer recreation for several decades. The region's infamous reputation is accredited by its picturesque characteristics such as lush forests, pristine lakes, and rocky shorelines. Due to its popularity, Muskoka is now home to a considerable amount of permanent and seasonal luxury recreational properties - and this trend of developing large summer homes along natural shorelines is multiplying. Planning tools to control shoreline development are currently in place, however, these tools are only effective for pre-construction and during development. Once construction is complete, control measures are lifted and developed shoreline properties are not normally visited by planners again. Therefore, post-construction monitoring is not present in current policies. In essence, development on shorelines and the state of shoreline properties where development has occurred are currently not being monitored for the long-term. This paper investigates current land use policies in Muskoka through a case study analysis and comprehensive literature review. This research will demonstrate the need to integrate long-term shoreline monitoring policies into Official Plans. The Researcher will conclude with potential monitoring frameworks to implement within the District in order to maintain the area's unique features and natural landscapes.
Date: 2015
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