Toronto – Environmental Defence is working with the City of Toronto to temporarily take down the Blue Flags at Toronto’s seven Blue Flag beaches because some key criteria are not being met during the current labour disruption. Blue Flag certification requires that, amongst other criteria, washroom facilities are available on beaches, garbage is picked up frequently and water quality tests are conducted at least weekly. Currently, beach water quality testing is not being performed, public washrooms are locked and garbage removal is reduced.
The beaches affected are: Kew-Balmy, Woodbine, Cherry, Ward’s Island, Centre Island, Gibralter Point, and Hanlan’s Point.
The withdrawal of Blue Flag status for the seven beaches is only temporary. Environmental Defence is monitoring the situation and will restore the Blue Flags when all required criteria are met. Lifeguards remain on duty at City of Toronto beaches, but people using the beaches are advised that it is ‘swim at your own risk’, since the beach water quality is not being tested.
Check www.blueflag.ca for the latest information about Blue Flag beaches in Toronto and throughout Ontario.
Background
Beaches or marinas get certified under the Blue Flag program after meeting high international standards around water quality, environmental education, environmental management, and safety and services.
Environmental Defence is the Canadian Operator of the Blue Flag Program. Environmental Defence protects the environment and human health. We research solutions. We educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air, clean water and thriving ecosystems nationwide, and to bring a halt to Canada’s contribution to climate change. www.environmentaldefence.ca
The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization consisting of member organizations representing 58 countries in Europe, Africa, Oceania and America. FEE actively promotes and delivers education about the environment and sustainable development through international programs such as the Blue Flag Program. www.fee-international.org
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For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)