My Watermark is Lake Muskoka, ON.
Lake Muskoka has an area of 89 square kilometers and has an elevation of 225 m. The lake is in the heart of the Muskoka region of Ontario, making it densely populated by cottages. It is surrounded by the towns of Gravenhurst, Port Carling and Bala, all of which provide the necessary goods and services for cottagers on vacation for the weekend.
Lake Muskoka is important to me because for the past decade it has been the home of my family cottage. During the summertime, my family (apart from my father who works in the city) lives at my cottage located between Bala and Gravenhurst 24/7. We visit the city rarely and my brother and I even have summer jobs that depend on the lake. We use the lake for a wide range of things, from water activities such as waterskiing, canoeing, and swimming, traveling from town to town, to taking lake showers instead of using the indoor showers.
Do to the high number of cottagers on the lake, the amount of motor boat traffic is also very high. The emissions of gas and oil into the water damage the ecosystems and weaken the ability for the lake to stay clean. These emissions combined with the pollution from both cottages and boaters (beer cans, coffee cups, candy wrappers, water bottles etc.) pose a great threat to the stability of the many natural ecosystems which rely on the lakes clean water supply (both water and land ecosystems). Also, the increased temperatures coupled with rising nutrient levels from the cottagers have created a hotbed for algae and unwanted plant growth, threatening ecosystems further.