Toronto – Twelve beaches in Ontario are being awarded the international Blue Flag certification, Environmental Defence announced today as the summer beach season kicked off. The beaches received the Blue Flag designation after meeting 27 strict standards, covering everything from water quality, to environmental management, to safety and services.
“We’re very proud of these beaches that are joining thousands of world-class beaches in receiving the Blue Flag award. Behind each award is a community of people making a commitment to environmental sustainability and best practices,” said Sarah Winterton, Outreach Director of Environmental Defence, which runs the Blue Flag program in Canada.
This summer, Blue Flags will be flying at beaches on Lake Ontario, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, including: six beaches in Toronto (Woodbine Beaches, Hanlan’s Point Beach, Centre Island Beach, Cherry Beach, Ward’s Island Beach, Gibraltar Point Beach); two beaches in the Town of the Blue Mountains (Little River Beach Park, Northwinds Beach Park); Sauble Beach in the Town of South Bruce Peninsula; Station Beach in Kincardine; Wasaga Beach in Wasaga Beach Provincial Park; and, Rotary Cove Beach in Goderich.
“Goderich is very proud to fly the Blue Flag. It’s an emblem of safe, eco-friendly beaches, and something to trust,” said Goderich Mayor Deb Shewfelt
In addition, Environmental Defence is awarding Candidate Blue Flag status to three beaches: Main Beach in the Municipality of Central Elgin, Canatara Park Beach in the City of Sarnia, and Main Beach, Grand Bend in the Municipality of Lambton Shores. Beaches named as Candidate Blue Flag beaches are in the process of full certification, and could be flying a Blue Flag as early as next summer.
The 12 Ontario Blue Flag beaches join more than 2,600 in 36 countries around the world. As part of the Blue Flag requirements, beaches in Canada must meet Ontario’s standards for recreational water quality (the most stringent in North America) at least 80% of the swimming season. Water quality test results for each Blue Flag beach are available on Environmental Defence’s Blue Flag web site – www.BlueFlag.ca.
Beaches are certified by two independent juries – the Blue Flag Great Lakes Regional Jury and the International Blue Flag Jury. Blue Flags are awarded at the beginning of each swimming season. Beaches can lose their Blue Flags during the season if they fail to meet the required standards.
“With climate change, pollution and even urban development threatening our beaches and coastal areas, the Blue Flag is critical for making sure these precious places are protected now. Having a clean beach on your doorstep is a tremendous benefit for the whole community. We want to make sure they are there for generations to come,” said Winterton.
About Blue Flag (www.BlueFlag.ca): The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), based in Denmark, owns and operates the Blue Flag Program. Since 1987, Blue Flag has grown to include more than 2,600 beaches in 36 countries. Environmental Defence is the Canadian National Operator of Blue Flag. Our goal is for beaches across Canada to meet national Blue Flag standards, ensuring that Canadians enjoy clean beaches. Blue Flag Canada is supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario.
About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca): 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.
For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)