GCOLA Loon-Safe Boating Program 2019
“If humans have had a role in the decline of the loon population,
humans can also have a role in reversing that decline.”
Founder, National Loon Preservation Committee
Do you want to keep our loons safe?
Do you enjoy interacting with others who also love loons and our lakes?
You have the opportunity to play an important role in protecting our loons
while enjoying the sun and meeting new people!
Volunteer today for the GCOLA Loon-Safe Boating Program
The Loon-Safe Boating Program has been created in response to concerns about our loon
population and the effects of boater activities on our loons.
To protect our loons by educating boaters about safe boating practices near loons, chicks, and
their nesting sites, and to promote a greater understanding of our loons.
Why do we need this program?
Each summer boaters come to enjoy the Gull Chain of Lakes. Too often watercraft usage
threatens our adult loons and their chicks. Death from collisions with watercraft is a significant
cause of loon mortality. In addition, boaters unaware of loon nesting sites can inadvertently
cause egg and baby chick loss by disrupting breeding, hatching and chick rearing. Sadly, when
threatened or stressed, loons will abandon their nests and may choose to nest on another lake
in subsequent years.
What is the role of a volunteer and when are they needed?
Volunteers man the Zorba’s boat ramp and Nisswa Lake boat ramp during summer’s high
boating times. They distribute GCOLA Loon-Safe information cards to boaters and share tips
for boating safely near loons and loon nests, encouraging visitors to help us protect our loons.
Volunteers are needed from Memorial Day to Labor Day. You may volunteer for as little or as
many 3-hour shifts as you like. Choose the days, times, and which boat ramp you would like to
man. Signing up on-line is easy. Simply click the “sign-up” link below.
What are Loon-Safe Information Cards?
The information cards supply timely information about our loons to visiting boaters. Early in the
season we ask boaters to stay away from nesting sites, as to not disrupt the possible breeding,
hatching, and chick rearing. As summer progresses and the loon families spend time out on the
lakes and in the open, the information cards explain the importance of keeping a safe distance
from adults and chicks.
How do I sign up to volunteer?
Click this “Sign-Up” link. Then, select the day, the time, and boat ramp location where you would like to volunteer.
If you are not able to assist at the boat ramps you can help by distributing the safe boating
postcards to watercraft rental businesses and resorts.
Coordinated and thoughtful human actions
could reverse the decline of our loon population.
Please consider joining us in
safeguarding our loons.