A power boat returns to the shore at Sylvan Lake Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Sylvan Lake group looking to quiet the waters

The noise on the water is a little too loud for one group in Sylvan Lake.

For the second year in a row the Quiet Enjoyment Initiative (QEI), a subcommittee of the Sylvan Lake Watershed Stewardship Society, is looking to reduce the noise from boats on the water by handing out pamphlets to boaters.

Excessive noise from boats has become an increasing problem over time and the SLWSS wants to put an end to it, said Kent Lyle, QEI chairman and former president.

“We noticed over a period of years, maybe even decades, the noise on the lake was increasing. It was starting to annoy quite a few users whether they were sailing, canoeing, fishing or living close by the lake,” Lyle said.

The main source of the noise on the water is coming from large boats without adequate noise mufflers, as well as the use of powerful music systems, he said.

Last year, the group created the education and awareness program after speaking with the Sylvan Lake Management Committee, which is made up of elected individuals from eight surrounding municipalities. The committee encouraged QEI to make the program, Lyle said.

The focus of the program was informing people who live near the lake why the noise is a problem and suggestions on how it can be limited through the use of informational pamphlets.

The two main suggestions the QEI has for visiting and local boaters is to make sure the exhaust of all motorized boats and vehicles used on the lake is properly muffled and to keep the music from one’s boat to a minimum.

“We had nothing but a good reception last year,” Lyle said. “Pretty much everybody has been supportive. It seems like everyone feels like this is a problem, but there’s nothing they can do about it, so they just sort of shrug.”

This year, the QEI will focus on educating boaters from out-of-town by handing out updated pamphlets at locations where boaters put their vessels in the water.

Like with residents, boaters were very positive about the received information last year, Lyle said.

“I honestly haven’t had any boater suggest we’re doing the wrong thing or any that got upset with us,” he said.

Limiting one’s noise pollution all comes down to respect, Lyle added.

“We all have the right to the peaceful enjoyments of our environments along with the responsibility to not disturb others.”


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