OUR MISSION: Make the Muskoka lakes safer and quieter to ensure the sustainable enjoyment of a treasured shared resource
Chair’s Message
The beautiful warmth of summer has come to a close and we now have the vibrant colours and fresh brisk air of fall. The seasons have changed but it’s always a perfect time to be in cottage country.

Since our last communication Safe Quiet Lakes have been busy with our various projects to keep our lakes safe and our educational programs to promote responsible boating.

Our Wakes and Speed project has garnered immense interest for more information on how to use signs and buoys to reduce speeds close to shore. To help cottagers, lake associations and municipalities with this issue we organized a public webinar with Transport Canada. The webinar was a huge success with an impressive turnout and a fantastic presentation by the representatives of Transport Canada.

Our national Decibel Coalition to advocate for Federal Government decibel limit regulations on boat engines has also made some great headway this summer with more organizations from across Canada joining.

Probably one of our most gratifying events has been our annual Stakeholders meeting, held on September 25th. Though the meeting was on a virtual platform this year we had 79 participants, which is just slightly more than last year. This event is important to us as we bring together leaders from lake associations and the boating industry, along with government officials from federal, provincial and local municipalities, to discuss important issues. This year we had speakers from Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety and Navigation Protection, The OPP Marine Division and a Personal Injury Law Firm specializing in civil liability on the water.

After the presentations we broke out into discussion groups to address specific concerns. This year the groups concentrated on what safety issues Safe Quiet Lakes should address in the coming year and the best way to reduce excessive boat motor noise. We received some excellent ideas on how to promote safety and how we can help municipalities and lake associations with consistent messaging and signage. The clear feedback is that we can play an important role by continuing our collaboration and working with these groups to leverage our messages. This input is important to us and we look forward to building some new programs to focus on this. We are very thankful for the breadth and quality of our partnerships. Along with our research these partnerships continue to guide our work.

As always please feel free to contact me directly at [email protected]. Together we can make our shared lake resource enjoyable and safe for all.

Warm regards,

Diana Piquette
Chair, Safe Quiet Lakes
The Decibel Coalition
In spite of limitation due to the restrictions for the pandemic, the Decibel Coalition has continued to expand. There are now 12 members, 11 in Ontario and one in Quebec with the expectation that this will grow significantly over the next few months.

We are happy to say that we now have a committee member based in British Columbia. Numerous lakes, especially in central BC have significant problems with excessively loud boat motor noise. Having a dedicated, enthusiastic person who knows the area will ensure that the province will be well represented in the Coalition.

SQL ran numerous ads in the Muskokan Newspaper this summer including one based on our informational postcard “Noisy Boats Bothering You?” featured in our July Newsletter.

We were able to conduct a few decibel level measurements of boat motor noise using our newly acquired Piccolo Sound Level Meter. This new capability to produce a technical report on noise levels allows us to help people understand if their boat noise is within an acceptable level. Next spring, if you would like to have your boat noise measured, please contact us and we can arrange a time and location.

As we continue to get new members of the Coalition across the country, our next focus is to build support with municipal governments.

Our goal is to have current legislation enhanced to include decibel limits on boat motor noise with efficient, effective enforcement procedures. As we approach the first anniversary of the formation of the Decibel Coalition we feel we are well on the way to achieving that objective.

-Rob Bosomworth, Decibel Coalition Project Lead
New Ways of Sharing Safe Boating Information
With COVID 19 gathering restrictions and the majority of community events being cancelled this summer Safe Quiet Lakes sought creative ways to share safe boating messages to the community.

In July Safe Quiet Lakes participated in our first webinar held in conjunction with the Muskoka Lakes Association. This webinar helped us identify a need in the community for more information on what individuals can do to combat the effects of wakes and speed.

Our second webinar was held in August with representatives from Transport Canada's Office of Boating Safety and the Navigation Protection Program. This webinar focused on Signs and Buoy regulations and what people can do to combat the effects of wake and speed on their properties. This webinar was a huge success with over 220 people registering and 80 questions being asked during the webinar. We couldn't get to all the questions asked during the webinar but Transport Canada individually followed up by email to attendees questions, a copy of Transport Canada's responses can be found on our website.

We will continue to look for more ways to connect with the public and to share safe boating messages in the future.

Recordings and the slide deck of these webinars can be found on our website.
Cold Water Safety
Fall can still be a wonderful time to enjoy boating and other activities on the water.

As fall and winter temperatures approach we still need to be cognizant of the dangers associated with being on or near the water. Drowning doesn't just happen to non-swimmers in the summer. Approximately 35% of drownings in Canada occur from October to April when most people have no intention of going into the water.

Check out the Canadian Safe Boating Council's website to learn to reduce or prevent the risk of cold water immersion.
Join us in helping to keep our waterways safe
Our programs are powered by the generosity of the community of lake users. Your support helps us to expand our reach to bring our message of safe and respectful sharing of the lakes to all boaters. Help us keep our programs afloat by making a donation.
Have questions? I would be happy to talk to you about how your donation makes a difference. Contact me at [email protected]

-Nancy Cohen, Fundraising Chair
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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