OUR MISSION: Make the Muskoka lakes safer and quieter to ensure the sustainable enjoyment of a treasured shared resource
Chair’s Message
The summer weather may be starting slowly, but Safe Quiet Lakes, as usual, is off to a flying start. 

On April 12th, we hosted our 8th annual Stakeholder meeting with a record number of participants including leaders of lake associations, OPP, marinas, municipal politicians. The meeting’s purpose is to share new ideas and feedback from the participants, and encourage them to get the “safe and responsible” boating message out. W e’ve been invited to present at Lake Associations AGM’s and family events across Muskoka this summer, including the MLA Seminar on July 11th with the OPP. More details on all of these are included in this Newsletter.

 Our survey results continue to inform our work. Fifty percent or more of the respondents find that, compared to five years ago, there is now: more boat traffic, more boat noise, greater impact of boat wakes. Increased development and rentals are increasing the potential number of boats on any lake. A strong majority of lake users favour solutions based on balanced use of the water and respect for others. Our “Share the lake“ and “Safe and responsible” messages are more important than ever. We are driven to continue to communicate these messages. We believe education, communication and getting the conversation going are important drivers of change

Working with others is a key part of our strategy. This year we are launching a new award to recognize an individual or organization whose efforts are contributing to safe and responsible boating and helping to make our lakes safer and quieter. This award will be given next spring. Watch for details in an upcoming newsletter.

The Safe Quiet Lakes team is terrific, and recently has been augmented by two additions.  Colleen Kennedy has joined the Board. Colleen is the executive Director of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and along term cottager near Port Carling. I would also like to welcome Aaron Rusak, as our first year round employee.   Aaron has been a cottager in Muskoka for as long as he can remember and is very excited to be helping Safe Quiet Lakes promote its message
With our active agenda we are searching for new Directors who want to make a difference in Muskoka by joining this exciting organization and help lead our future direction. Whether you wish to join our Board or not, we also welcome participation on one of our committees, which include Communication, Fundraising, Outreach, Research and Advocacy.   Contact me directly to discuss at [email protected].

We appreciate your support in expanding the conversation about safe and respectful boating and look forward to your feedback on how we work together.

Frances Carmichael
Chair, Safe Quiet Lakes
Director Greg Wilkinson presenting at the 2019 FOCA Spring Seminar
Stakeholder's Meeting Report
Our 8th Annual Stakeholders Meeting , on April 12th, was our most successful meeting to date. Over 70 attendees came ready with questions, suggestions and solutions. We recently sent out the meeting summary to attendees. Please click HERE to read it. Some of our immediate actions are:

  • Toolkit: We heard some great ideas for involving the community in safer boating practices. We are gathering these together into an online toolkit to help guide associations and others in their communications on safe and respectful boating.
  • Social Media: Outreach to a younger audience is one thing that Safe Quiet Lakes can do more of. We heard that establishing a larger volunteer pool as well as engaging youth is an important step to take. If you are active on social media, please be sure to follow us and let us know if you have a message we can share with our audience.
  • "Rinse and repeat": Education and outreach are very important tools for all of us. Safe Quiet Lakes will continue to focus on positive messaging and partnerships to keep the conversation going.
  • New Award: Our partnerships are key to what we do. We look forward to recognizing an individual or group who make a leading contribution to safe and responsible boating a next year's meeting.
Cold Water Safety
A cold start to summer means that the water is colder than usual. Cold water is a major contributor to drowning deaths year after year. A dump in cold water is a shock that can cause you to gasp and inhale a mouthful. The cold water also inhibits your muscles from moving effectively. It’s a very good time to wear a life jacket even if you are travelling close to shore.

According to the Canadian Safe Boating Council,  on average 60% of Canadian boaters who drowned did so in water fewer than 10 degrees C. and 34% in water between 10 and 20 degrees C. And sadly many of these victims were close to shore. You can learn more about on what happens in cold water in this short video o r by visiting the Cold Water Boot Camp website .

Safety on the Water with the OPP and MLA
New this summer, the MLA is hosting a seminar on boating issues. Join us July 11th at 4 pm in Port Carling. You will hear updates from Safe Quiet Lakes, the local OPP Marine Unit leader and from the MLA about our programs to promote and ensure safe and respectful lakes. Time is reserved for a Q&A. This is your chance to speak directly to the OPP with any of your questions or concerns.

Please RSVP to the Muskoka Lakes Association Office by phone 705-765-5723 or email [email protected]. All seminars are complimentary for MLA members, $10 fee for non-members. All kids 12 and under are free. Seminars require a minimum of 10 guests.

The OPP and Safe Quiet Lakes are working together once again this summer to promote safety on the water. The OPP will be giving out our materials at the over 3700 safety checks and intercepts and Safe Quiet Lakes representatives will be at boating events and working with lake and resident associations across the region. The OPP has launched a new initiative to help improve the safety of our lakes. Watch their video HERE.
Call 1-888-310-1122 to report boating too close to shore, wakes, noise and other safety issues. ALWAYS call 911 if it's an emergency. Gather as much information as possible by taking detailed notes or video including: boat registration number, colour, make, model, time, frequency, and location of incident and a description of the operator.
Outreach Promotion
Over the past seven years, Safe Quiet Lakes has been building support from individuals and organizations such as yourself across our community.
Many thanks to the many lake associations, marinas and townships who are using our tools to reach their community: posting the boaters' code at docks, in their newsletters and on their website. Working together, we can effect change. Over 60 marinas and resorts stock our materials and display our signs, which are very beneficial to promoting our message.
Thanks also to the many people who stopped by at our booth at the MLA Seedling Day.  Be sure to check out our booths at future events. We'll be holding a prize draw for those who come out and join our mailing list!  

Let's keep the conversation going. Please share this newsletter with your friends and neighbours and encourage them to signup for our list. Additionally, please let us know if you have an event that you'd like us to attend by emailing [email protected] .
Call for Volunteers!

Safe Quiet Lakes is looking for volunteers to assist the organization at events and with outreach. If you're interested in helping out with SQL or learning about what you can do to assist, please contact [email protected] .
About Safe Quiet Lakes

Safe Quiet Lakes is a not-for- profit community group of boaters that promotes:

  • Safe, respectful boating and the adoption of the SQL boaters’ code – Boaters Always Care.
  • The preservation of the community culture in the Muskoka region through respectful and safe use of our shared waterways.
For more information, to make a donation or to get involved, please visit safequiet.ca.
O ur Sponsors: Summer 2019