Regional advocacy group wants to learn about safe and respectful boating practices and environmental concerns in Muskoka.

June 12, 2017 – Safe Quiet Lakes has just launched a comprehensive boating survey called “Your Lakes, Your Views” to capture the attitudes of people in Muskoka toward a number of lake use questions. The survey is designed to capture attitudes and opinions on hot button boating issues that are important to the community.

A similar survey conducted in 2013 revealed a number of concerns among residents. Issues such as: excessive wakes and noise along with disrespectful and unsafe boating practices topped the list. The 2013 survey established a direct correlation between the enjoyment people experience and their perception of the safety and quiet of their lake environment.

The new 2017 survey, designed and managed by ERIN Research, will provide a more comprehensive view of the issues that matter most to local residents and discover how behaviours and attitudes have evolved since 2013. The new survey will be the most extensive polling of lake users and area residents to date.

“This survey that will allow residents to have their say on important lake issues,” said Frances Carmichael, Chair of Safe Quiet Lakes. “The Muskoka lakes are an area of outstanding natural beauty that attract people from all over the world. The principal focus of our organization is to encourage and maintain a culture of respect on the lakes. With this survey, we are inviting people in the community to share their views.”

The survey will be available online at safequiet.ca from June 12th to July 10th, 2017. Initial results will be announced mid-August 2017.

Each year Safe Quiet Lakes conducts a summer long awareness and safety campaign in cooperation and with support from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). The group is also the creator and distributor of the well-respected Boaters Code that is displayed prominently around waterways in Muskoka.

In addition to critical reminders about respect, safety and the risks on the water, the campaign also highlights the growing issue of excessive noise and wakes created by some uninformed powerboat operators. The campaign also focuses on reminding boaters that it is not only against the law to operate a boat without a muffler on the Muskoka lakes but it is also inconsistent with the culture of the lakes. The OPP will be enforcing muffler regulations under the Canada Shipping Act.

Throughout the summer long campaign, Safe Quiet Lakes and the OPP will be educating boaters to be aware of safe and respectful boating behaviour, required safety equipment, and the Boaters’ Code.

Safe Quiet Lakes will also be educating boaters on how to reduce excessive wakes by discussing “slow down, bow down” boating and explaining how large wakes can contribute to:

  • placing wildlife at risk
  • shoreline erosion
  • property damage
  • creating a public safety issue for lake users

    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 or to get involved visit http://safequiet.ca/

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