As boating season begins, the City of Boucherville is bolstering efforts to improve safety.

The mayor says the South Shore community is seeing more boaters on the Saint Lawrence River—up to 300 on weekends.

On Saturday, the city said it plans to compile statistics on boating habits to learn more about how the river is being used.

“For example, in the event of an accident, what type of boat was involved, should we have more indicators for speed limits, should we reduce speed limits…” said Mayor Jean Martel.

It will also track water traffic and ambient noise to protect wildlife, with help from the environmental organization SEPAQ.

The Quebec branch of the Lifesaving Society is also collaborating on the plan.

“We know we have a lot of behaviour on the Saint Lawrence River that sometimes isn’t good,” said its executive director Raynald Hawkins.

Boating incidents accounted for nearly a quarter of all drownings in Quebec between 2013 and 2017, according to a 2020 report from the Lifesaving Society.