A personified wake advocates for Kalamalka and Wood Lake this summer. (Contributed)

A personified wake advocates for Kalamalka and Wood Lake this summer. (Contributed)

Wake mascot advocates for Okanagan lakes

Campaign raises boater awareness of damage caused by wakes

He’s a fun guy to have around, but he’s clumsy and causes unintentional damage.

That guy is Mr. Wake. Local governments are pooling together to get the word out about Mr. Wake and created a personified wake, advocating for Kalamalka and Wood lakes this summer.

“If you love the lake, take care of it. Careful boating will keep the water fun and beautiful for everyone and local wildlife too. It’s a responsibility we all share,” the I’m A Wake campaign says.

Power boats are encouraged to stick to water deeper than 30 feet and have a great time. Local wakeboarders know the wake gets better in deeper waters. The Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program (OCCP), Regional District of North Okanagan, District of Lake Country and District of Coldstream have been working together with CREW Marketing to create a campaign that will effectively educate the public about the importance of boating away from the shoreline.

“We want to engage the public in a fun way with our wake mascot to inspire action to minimize the negative impacts on water quality, wildlife habitats and shoreline erosion caused by boat wakes,” OCCP’s Scott Boswell said. “The goal of the campaign is to increase lake user safety, reduce shoreline erosion and loss of habitat that happens as a direct result of boat wakes near the shoreline. Boat wakes create an impact that is quite different from normal wind/weather patterns.”

The new website I’m A Wake (imawake.ca) is now live and billboards are being installed along Highway 97 at key locations to attract the attention of locals and visitors that enjoy boating on Okanagan lakes. The three key messages the I’m A Wake mascot shares are:

• Keep it Wild: Nesting areas along the shoreline can be obliterated by a boat wake. Baby duckies need your help.

• Keep it Clean: Near a clean water intake, wakes make a murky mess, turning clear, fresh water into gross polluted water. Ick. Keep your boat in deep water.

• Keep it Safe: We can all help keep each other safe by sticking to the parts of the lake that are best suited to our fun – wake waves are best in the deep. While paddling and swimming stick to the shallow.

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