Toronto – Sixteen beaches and three marinas were awarded a Blue Flag today by Environmental Defence after meeting strict international standards to protect the environment. Blue Flag beaches and marinas must meet high standards for water quality, environmental education, environmental management, and safety and services.   
“These awards are the result of the great work done by beach operators and countless community groups who recognize the importance of protecting their beach and marina,” said Sarah Winterton, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Environmental Defence, the organization that runs the Blue Flag program in Canada. “Everyone involved in the Blue Flag program really deserves recognition for their efforts and we congratulate them all on their achievement.”
This summer, Blue Flags will fly at the following beaches: Bluffer’s Beach, Kew-Balmy Beach, Woodbine Beach, Cherry Beach, Ward’s Island Beach, Centre Island Beach, Gibraltar Point Beach, Hanlan’s Point Beach on Lake Ontario in the City of Toronto; Port Stanley Main Beach on Lake Erie in the Municipality of Central Elgin; Grand Bend Beach, on Lake Huron in the Municipality of Lambton Shores; Bayfield Main Beach on Lake Huron in the Municipality of Bluewater; Station Beach, on Lake Huron in Kincardine; Sauble Beach, on Lake Huron in the Town of South Bruce Peninsula; Little River Beach Park on Georgian Bay in the Town of the Blue Mountains; Northwinds Beach Park on Georgian Bay in the Town of the Blue Mountains; and Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, on Georgian Bay. Three marinas, all on Lake Huron, also received a Blue Flag, Bluewater Marina; Grand Bend Marina; and Port Franks Marina.
Three beaches are also participating with Blue Flag Candidate status, which means they could receive full certification in future summers. These beaches include: Professor’s Lake Park in Brampton, Canatara Park on Lake Huron in Sarnia, and Rotary Cove Beach on Lake Huron in Goderich. In addition to these candidates, several beaches and marinas in British Columbia, Manitoba and Nova Scotia are undergoing their feasibility assessments and will likely join the Canadian Blue Flag community this summer.
This summer, a total of 3,650  beaches and marinas are certified under the Blue Flag program in 41 countries, including Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and the Caribbean. Blue Flags have been awarded in Canada since 2005.
Beaches that want to receive a Blue Flag must apply each season. Independent juries of experts in Canada and internationally review each application and determine whether a marina or beach meets the standards for certification. Blue Flags can be removed during the season if a marina or beach fails to meet the required criteria.
More details about the Blue Flag program 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 The Foundation for Environmental Education ( www.fee-international.org ):  The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization consisting of member organizations representing 63 countries worldwide. FEE actively promotes and delivers education about the environment and sustainable development through international programs such as the Blue Flag Program.
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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Stephanie Kohls, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 232; 647-280-9521 (cell)