TORONTO, ON – For the 2013 sun, surf, and sand season, 18 beaches and four marinas in Canada have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag eco-certification. This internationally recognized and respected eco-label is awarded to beaches and marinas that have achieved international standards in water quality, environmental management, environmental education, and safety and services.
“Beaches and marinas across Canada proudly fly the Blue Flag because it is a symbol of excellence,” said Brett Tryon, coordinator of the Blue Flag Canada program. “Wherever you see a Blue Flag, you know the beach or marina has great water quality, is working to protect natural areas, has lifeguards or lifesaving equipment, and helps to educate the community about how to protect and improve the local environment.”
The Blue Flag program has been in Canada since 2005 with certified beaches and marinas currently in Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. This year, the program welcomes Birch Cove Beach in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia as its newest Blue Flag certified member. It is the first Nova Scotia beach to receive the Blue Flag.
“This is quite an honour,” says Halifax Regional Municipality Mayor Mike Savage. “The Blue Flag will contribute significantly to awareness of Birch Cove Beach and will help in promoting Birch Cove Beach as a sustainable beach destination to be enjoyed by both the residents and visitors.”
Around the world, 3,100 beaches and 625 marinas have been certified. The Blue Flag award is administered in Canada by Environmental Defence and is managed internationally by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
With vast and beautiful coastlines, Canada’s fresh and salt water ecosystems have significant environmental, cultural, social and economic values to Canadians. With beaches as important recreational and tourist areas, Canadians can be assured that Blue Flag certified beaches are safe and clean, sustainably managed and great for swimming.
Here is the list of the 18 beaches and four marinas which have received the Blue Flag in Canada this year:
Manitoba:

West Grand Beach, Grand Beach Provincial Park, Manitoba

Nova Scotia:

Birch Cove Beach, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Halifax Waterfront, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Ontario:

Port Stanley Main Beach on Lake Erie in the Municipality of Central Elgin
Grand Bend Beach, Grand Bend Marina and Port Franks Marina on Lake Huron in the Municipality of Lambton Shores
Bayfield Main Beach and Bluewater Marina 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
Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, on Georgian Bay
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 in Toronto 

Quebec:

plage de l’Est and plage de l’Ouest, and plage des Cantons in Ville de Magog, Quebec

The following marinas and beaches are Blue Flag candidates this year:
British Columbia:

Harrison Beach on Harrison Lake in Harrison Hot Springs

Manitoba:

Gimli Beach on Lake Winnipeg in Municipality of Gimli

Ontario:

Canatara Park Beach on Lake Huron in Sarnia
Erieau Beach on Lake Erie in Erieau
Waubuno Beach on Georgian Bay in Parry Sound
Burlington Sailing & Boating Club on Lake Ontario in Burlington

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