OUR MISSION: Make the Muskoka lakes safer and quieter to ensure the sustainable enjoyment of a treasured shared resource
Chair’s Message
We really don’t know what this summer will be like, but we know people will want to get out on the water, probably more than ever. For us at Safe Quiet Lakes the “safe“ part of our mission has never been more important. There may be more boaters and possibly new boaters on the lakes and at landings and marinas this season. People may stay at their cottages and on the lakes longer. And that combination means greater risk.
Safe boating is important to avoid property damage, injuries, and the tragic loss of life that leaves such a painful mark on lake communities. Safe boating will also be important this year because we need to avoid accidents that would put pressure on healthcare capacity and frontline workers. Safe Boating this year also means following social distancing protocols, on docks and in boats to combat the spread of the disease. Boating safely has never had more facets and never been more important.
SQL will be carrying out our programs and sharing our messages with boaters this summer with an extra emphasis on staying safe. We will, for example, participate in virtual lake association AGMs and communicate through all forms of media to encourage respectful boating. We all want to get back on the lakes, but please spread the word that boating this year comes with added responsibilities and different risks to manage. Thank you for your support and please be safe on the water.  
I am delighted to announce that, on May 23, 2020,  Diana Piquette will become the Chair of Safe Quiet Lakes. Diana has over 25 years experience in senior management positions with technology companies, including 19 years with Microsoft. She holds an MBA from Ivey School of Business and is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors. She has a cottage on Lake Joseph and is a director on the board of Lake Joseph North Association

It has been my privilege to Chair a terrific Board of Directors, and to work with a dedicated team of supporters. Thank you. I will continue on the Board as Past Chair. We have much more to do as indicated in the following articles on the Wakes, and Speed Pilot Project and the Decibel Coalition.

We hope you have a safe and enjoyable Victoria Day long weekend!

-Frances Carmichael, Chair
Safe Boating Awareness Week
May 16 - 22
Canadian Safe Boating Awareness Week is kicking off this weekend and running through to May 22. Although all in person events have been cancelled due to COVID 19 The Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) would still like boaters to be aware of 5 key recommendations that could save your life:

  • Wear a PFD or Lifejacket
  • Boat Sober
  • Take a Boating Course
  • Be Prepared, Both You and Your Vessel
  • Be Wary of the Dangers of Cold Water Immersion

With temperatures being unseasonably cold this spring it is especially important to follow these recommendations. Cold water is a major contributor to drowning deaths each year.

A dip in cold water is a shock that can cause you to gasp and inhale a mouthful of water. 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. To learn more about the effects of cold water on the body visit the Cold Water Boot Camp.

Especially during these times it is important to follow these guidelines while boating to avoid unnecessary strain on our frontline workers.
Wakes, and Speed Pilot Project
Since our last newsletter, significant progress has been made. We believe with the current public health measures in place there could be the potential of increased boat traffic on our lakes this summer, making this project more important than ever.

Based on the survey results from last fall, we developed a plan with four different tactics to try and combat the issue of wakes and speed on Mirror Lake and the Indian River. Our plan includes launching Transport Canada approved privately owned "No Wake' buoys, custom-designed 'No Wake' signs, reinstalling 9km/hour VORR signs, and an outreach campaign.

The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) will be collaborating with us on this project. The MLA will be placing radar speed devices in the target area in an effort to combat speeding.

On March 11th, we presented to the Township of Muskoka Lakes' General Committee our plan for the Wakes, and Speed Pilot Project. We were seeking Council to reinstall the 9km/hour VORR signs with a heavy concentration in the pilot project and support our community outreach efforts such as a launch event, social media posts, and outreach campaigns at local establishments throughout the summer. The Township of Muskoka Lakes Council agreed to supply twenty-five 9km/hour signs and support our outreach efforts.

Safe Quiet Lakes has moved ahead in the design process of the 'No Wake' signage that will be displayed in the pilot project area. If you live in the Mirror Lake/Indian River area and are interested in a 'No Wake' sign on your property, please contact [email protected].

-Colleen Kennedy, Wakes and Speed Project Lead
Decibel Coalition
Over the last couple of months we have continued our efforts to establish a national Decibel Coalition of like-minded stakeholders, while being respectful of the current pandemic situation. The objective of the coalition is to have the federal government enhance current legislation to include decibel limits for boat noise and efficient and effective processes for enforcement.

We now have two significant lake organizations who have joined the Coalition, one in Ontario and one in Quebec. We also have strong support from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) an industry organization representing boat manufacturers in North America.

We are in the final stages of designing a logo for the Decibel Coalition and informational postcard on the legal requirements for mufflers and Captain's Choice devices in Canada. This will be distributed along with our other materials through our normal channels including lake associations, marinas, and the OPP.

For more information on the Decibel Coalition, and how you or your your lake association can join please contact the project team at [email protected].

-Rob Bosomworth, Chairman of the Decibel Project
No Wake Zone
Here is a terrific opinion piece from longtime supporter and Safe Quiet Lakes Advisory Council Member, Bill Jennings that was published last week on the Muskoka Region website.

What Bill speaks about having clear No Wake Zone signage as a tactic to combat damage to property. This is a similar tactic that Safe Quiet Lakes will be taking with our Wakes, and Speed Pilot Project this summer on Mirror Lake/Indian River.

Bill Jennings is an experienced boat captain and a former world champion. To learn more about Bill's research and if you have questions Bill can be reached at [email protected]
How to Social Distance on a Boat
Boating Ontario recently released a guide on how to responsibly social distance while boating. We encourage everyone who is able to access your boat to please follow these guidelines to stay safe.

Click here to read the full guide.
About Safe Quiet Lakes

Safe Quiet Lakes is a not-for-profit community group of boaters that promote safe, respectful boating.

We believe that positive, grass root conversations and education are important drivers of change. We created the Boater’s Code to help get the conversation started. 
We launched a new video this past year about our programs. Please click the image to watch it.
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