Great news!  The Charleston Lake Association Boater Awareness and Safety Initiative made it into the October issue of Cottage Life.  See article

In the Summer of 2021, the CLA launched a major new initiative aimed at reducing boat speed and noise, and to promote safe boating etiquette.   The initiative, known as BASS (Boater Awareness and Safety System), will have five key elements: 

  • Improved signage at public boat ramps

  • Traditional media (e.g. CLA member newsletter)

  • Web-based media (e.g. Boating section on CLA website)

  • Collateral material (e.g. educational pamphlets and plasticized map)

  • Youth programs (e.g. boating safety modules via CLA summer camp)

“For many years now, about 80% of the complaints we get as an Association are related to boat noise, speed, and wake,” said CLA President Bill Hallam, “and while it is up to Transport Canada and the OPP to enforce the law, we certainly have the moral authority to promote safe and respectful boating.”


Charleston Lake is not alone in seeing an increase in faster, noisier boats.  And more recently, wake boats have become more common, and when operated close to shore can cause significant shoreline erosion, and damage to wildlife such as Loon nests.  The BASS initiative aims to increase boater awareness of the different Federal and Provincial laws that govern the use of powered and unpowered watercraft, and build awareness of how operators can enjoy their boats while considering the interest of other users and residents of the lake, including wildlife.

CLA is especially proud that the BASS Initiative was selected from among dozens of applications from across Canada to receive financial support from Transport Canada’s Boating Safety Contribution Program. This contribution will off set a significant portion of the costs of the initiative. Transport Canada article


The BASS initiative was developed by a committee of the CLA Board, chaired by John Webster.  Other members included Steve Arthur, Bill Hallam, Michael McAdoo, and Rocci Pagnello.  Said Webster: “Our committee looked at several different ideas, and then decided that we needed to take a systematic approach that would reach boaters in several ways,”  Watch for new signs to go up at the main boat launches by early Summer, along with more and better information on the CLA Website, as well as at local marinas and shops.