More beaches will fly the Blue Flag this summer as the program celebrates 10 years in Canada

Winnipeg Beach at Winnipeg Beach Provincial Park, MB, Canatara Park Beach in Sarnia, ON and Waubuno Beach in Parry Sound, ON are the newest beaches to receive the prestigious eco-label

TORONTO, May 28, 2014 /CNW/ - With summer fast approaching, 24 beaches and four marinas in Canada have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag – an international eco-certification for beaches and marinas. This year also marks a milestone for the program as it celebrates its 10th anniversary in Canada.

The Blue Flag is an internationally recognized and respected eco-label awarded to beaches and marinas that have achieved international standards in four categories: Water Quality, Environmental Management, Environmental Education, and Safety and Services.

"The Blue Flag is an international symbol of excellence and a source of pride for local communities," said Brett Tryon, Blue Flag Canada Program Manager. "No matter where you go, when you see a Blue Flag flying, you know you are at one of the best beaches or marinas in the world – one that is clean, has excellent facilities, and meets high safety and environmental standards."

Canada's first Blue Flags were flown in 2005 at four of Toronto's beaches: Cherry Beach, Hanlan's Point Beach, Ward's Island Beach and Woodbine Beach. Since then, the program has grown across Canada with certified beaches and marinas now in Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. This year, Winnipeg Beach at Winnipeg Beach Provincial Park in Manitoba, Canatara Park Beach in Sarnia, ON and Waubuno Beach in Parry Sound, ON are being awarded with the eco-label for the first time.

The Blue Flag award is administered in Canada by Environmental Defence and is managed internationally by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).  Around the world, more than 4,000 beaches and marinas have been certified in 48 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean.

"The Blue Flag program is seeing incredible growth in Canada," said Tryon. "Canada is known for its vast and beautiful shorelines. As more communities receive the Blue Flag, it is a testament to their desire and hard work to improve the health of our watersheds and coastal habitats and protect them for future generations."

Here is the list of the 24 beaches and four marinas which have received the Blue Flag in Canada this year:

Manitoba:

  • West Grand Beach (Grand Beach Provincial Park)
  • Winnipeg Beach (Winnipeg Beach Provincial Park)

Nova Scotia:

  • Birch Cove Beach (Dartmouth)
  • Halifax Waterfront (Halifax)

Ontario:

  • Bayfield Main Beach and Bluewater Marina (Municipality of Bluewater)
  • Bluffer's Park Beach, Centre Island Beach, Cherry Beach, Gibraltar Point Beach, Hanlan's Point Beach, Kew-Balmy Beach, Ward's Island Beach and Woodbine Beach (Toronto)
  • Canatara Park Beach (Sarnia)
  • Grand Bend Beach, Grand Bend Marina and Port Franks Marina (Municipality of Lambton Shores)
  • Port Stanley Main Beach (Municipality of Central Elgin)
  • Sauble Beach (Town of South Bruce Peninsula)
  • Station Beach (Kincardine)
  • Wasaga Beach areas 1, 2 and 5 (Wasaga Beach Provincial Park)
  • Waubuno Beach (Parry Sound)   

Quebec:

  • Plage de l'Est, Plage de l'Ouest, and Plage des Cantons (Ville de Magog)

The following marinas and beaches are Blue Flag Candidates (beaches and marinas that are in the pilot phase) this year:

British Columbia:

  • Harrison Hot Springs Beach (Harrison Hot Springs)

Manitoba:

  • Clear Lake Main Beach (Riding Mountain National Park)

Ontario:

  • Erieau Beach (Municipality of Chatham-Kent)
  • LaSalle Marina (Burlington)
  • Port Glasgow Beach and Port Glasgow Yacht Club & Marina (Municipality of West Elgin)

More details about the Blue Flag program and the certified marinas and beaches can be found at BlueFlag.ca.

About Environmental Defence (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 The Foundation for Environmental Education (fee-international.org): The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization consisting of member organizations representing 68 countries worldwide. FEE actively promotes and delivers education about the environment and sustainable development through international programs such as the Blue Flag Program.

SOURCE: Environmental Defence

For further information: images or interview requests please contact: Jen Mayville, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 228; 905-330-0172 (cell); jmayville@environmentaldefence.ca

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http://www.environmentaldefence.ca/

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