Decibel Coalition

The Decibel Coalition is a national group of stakeholders whose objective is to enhance existing legislation in the Small Vessel Regulations SOR/2010-91 to include performance standards for boat motor noise set, in decibel limits, for both on the water owner/operators and boat importers and manufacturers. Efficient, effective procedures for on the water enforcement is critical to successful implementation.

The Decibel Coalition members include cottage associations, environmental groups and municipalities. Our numbers continue to grow as word spreads of what we are trying to achieve. As of January 2022 the Coalition has 54 members including 9 municipalities. Members are in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. Together they represent aver 95,000 households. The Coalition is run by Safe Quiet Lakes (SQL) and was established in the fall of 2019.

We know that for most people a boat that is excessively noisy is not “sharing” the lake and its operator is being disrespectful to all other lake users. SQL’s 2021 survey found that 95% of almost 6,000 respondents ranked “relaxing on the dock” as very important and 92% rated enjoying nature on the lake or by the shore as a top pleasure. Loud boats were ranked as a major obstacle to this basic enjoyment. Sixty-seven percent of respondents want muffler laws enforced and 67% want decibel limits in the legislation.

Canada’s existing legislation is weak to the point where police will not enforce it. Decibel limits are legislated in many states in the USA and are standard in the European Union. Enhancing the Small Vessel Regulations will bring Canada in line with these jurisdictions.

The Coalition welcomes new member organizations. Please contact crystal@safequiet.ca if your association would like to join.