Representatives from the various levels of governments, first nations, and the non-governmental organizations are meeting in Harrison Hot Springs this Friday to learn how British Columbia’s beaches and marinas can join the Blue Flag beach and marina certification program.  Harrison and the Blue Flag program are hosting a one day workshop, “Raising the Blue Flag in British Columbia: Linking Recreational Shoreline Management Goals and Strategies to Achieving the International Blue Flag Award.”
 
Harrison is British Columbia’s first community to take on the challenge of meeting the Blue Flag’s 32 beach criteria which cover everything from water quality, environmental education and sustainable management to the safety provisions and services beach users can expect to find when they visit.
 
The Mayor of Harrison Hot Springs, Leo Facio said, “Co-hosting this workshop is one way we are celebrating joining Canada’s Blue Flag Community, but the event is meant to establish and build partnerships among B.C. agencies and shoreline communities to increase the tools we have to manage our coastal areas as safe, healthy, and sustainable places to enjoy.”
 
A total of 3,650 beaches and marinas are certified under the Blue Flag program in 46 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. Canada has 16 beaches and 3 marinas certified under Blue Flag.
 
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. www.environmentaldefence.ca
  
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.
 
About Harrison Hot Springs (www.harrisonhotsprings.ca OR www.tourismharrison.com): The Village of Harrison Hot Springs is located in the beautiful Fraser Valley with its glacier fed lake, surrounded by mountains and clean fresh air, it offers a unique place to visit, live, and enjoy the many recreational activities available.
 
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For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact:
Environmental Defence
Claire Malcolmson,
Water Programs Manager
647-267-7572
cmalcolmson@environmentaldefence.ca
 
Village of Harrison Hot Springs
Andre Isakov,
Community & Economic Development Officer
604-796-2171
aisakov@harrisonhotsprings.ca
 
Tourism Harrison
Robert Reyerse,
Executive Director 
604-796-0288
robert@tourismharrison.com