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This summer we have a lot to celebrate: not only is it Canada’s 150th birthday, but the international Blue Flag program is turning 30. So, where better to celebrate than a Blue Flag beach or marina! And the good news is there are even more beaches and marinas to choose from.

This year, 27 beaches and eight marinas across the country are being recognized as the crème de la crème. In order to receive a Blue Flag, beaches and marinas must meet a set of strict criteria under four categories: Environmental Education, Environmental Management, Water Quality, and Safety & Services.

That means you can expect things like excellent water quality, lifesaving equipment or lifeguards, information about the local ecosystem, and clean and accessible facilities. And you can be assured that beach and marina managers are working hard to protect our shorelines and waterways and educate residents and visitors.

We’re happy to welcome two new beaches and one marina to the Blue Flag family:

Outlet Beach, Sandbanks Provincial Park, Ontario

Blue Flag certified Outlet Beach at Sandbanks Provincial Park

Moonlight Beach, Sudbury, Ontario

Blue Flag Moonlight beach in Sudbury Ontario

Colchester Harbour Marina, Town of Essex, Ontario

Blue Flag certified Colchester Harbour Marina in Town of Essex, Ontario

These three destinations join more than 4,000 beaches and marinas in 47 countries that have demonstrated a commitment to people and the environment in order to receive the Blue Flag.

Blue Flag is an international eco-certification that originated in France in 1987, and is run internationally by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). In Canada, Environmental Defence is the national operator of the program.

So, if you’re planning that perfect boating or beach vacation, check out the beaches and marinas listed on blueflag.ca or blueflag.global and choose a Blue Flag destination. You know it will be well maintained, sustainably managed, and a great spot to spend some quality time with your friends and family.