Halifax Waterfront to Join International Club for Clean Environment and Ecosystem Education:

Halifax's Waterfront now Canada's First Oceanic Blue Flag Candidate, could become Atlantic Canada's First Blue Flag Award Winner

TORONTO, Sept. 1, 2011 /CNW/ - The provincial agency charged with making some of the province's shorelines into social, economic and heritage centres has officially taken on the challenge for Halifax's Waterfront to win the coveted international Blue Flag award. With this, Waterfront Development Corporation (WDCL) has made a commitment to manage its property to the strict environmental criteria outlined by the United Nations endorsed eco-label for marinas and beaches.

This makes Halifax Canada's first Atlantic Blue Flag candidate community, and could make the city's Waterfront an award winner as early as next summer. To win the Blue Flag award, Halifax's Waterfront will have to meet 24 criteria which cover everything from water quality, environmental education and sustainable management to the safety provisions and services marina users can expect to find when they visit.

"Waterfront Development looks forward to flying the Blue Flag as a designated Blue Flag marina, enhancing our commitment to environmentally responsible development projects and partnerships," said Adam Langley, Manager, Property Development & Marine Services, Waterfront Development. "The Halifax Waterfront is the most visited destination in Nova Scotia and an internationally renowned Tall Ships host. This allows us to create exciting experiences at the water's edge, educating visitors and locals about the sea and our part in keeping it clean and healthy."

A unique feature of the program over many other eco-designations for beaches and marinas is the emphasis on striking partnerships between stakeholders and providing quality educational opportunities for visitors and residents.

"I was out here at the beginning of the summer, and the enthusiasm of the local government and community groups to bring the program to Halifax was almost overwhelming," said Aidan Grove-White, Water Programs Manager at Environmental Defence, the Canadian operator of the Blue Flag Program. "Add to that Waterfront Development's plans to really become a regional environmental and educational leader and I think we may end up with one of the strongest Blue Flag marina candidates in the world."

The Halifax Regional Municipality also had Birch Cove Beach assessed for the Blue Flag program and Council is expected to make a decision on whether to join in September.

Blue Flags currently fly at 3,650 sites in 44 countries around the world, including 16 beaches and three marinas in Canada. More details about Blue Flag and the certified marinas and beaches can be found on the web site at www.blueflag.ca.

About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is the Canadian Operator of the Blue Flag Program. Environmental Defence is Canada's most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.

About Waterfront Development Corporation (www.my-waterfront.ca): Waterfront Development Corporation is a provincial Crown corporation developing the strategic potential of the Bedford, Dartmouth, Halifax and Lunenburg waterfronts. Revenues are reinvested in the waterfronts to drive economic opportunity, enhance tourism and reflect and protect marine heritage.

SOURCE Environmental Defence

For further information:

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Stephanie Kohls, Environmental Defence, skohls@environmentaldefence.ca, 647-280-9521 (cell)


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