Learning about the environment can be fun and exciting! Thanks to the Blue Flag program, awarded beaches and marinas across the country are offering educational programs to help residents and tourists learn about the local ecosystem and how they can do their part in protecting it.
Here are a few examples of the great programs being offered at Blue Flag locations.
As one of our newest awardees, the City of Greater Sudbury is doing a fantastic job working with community members to improve the local environment. In late June, the city worked with the Greater Sudbury Water Alliance to offer a boat cleaning workshop at Ramsey Lake Boat Launch. Citizens learned how they can help stop the spread of invasive species like Eurasian water milfoil and spiny water flea. Power washing boats on land is a great way to keep these invasive species from sneaking into areas where they shouldn’t be. It also helps to protect the natural ecosystem and maintain biodiversity in bodies of water.
At Grand Bend Beach and Marina, they help keep the environment top-of-mind for users with information boards about dune restoration and native plants. In these locations, you can find handouts about species at risk in the Ausable River.
Lambton Shores boasts more than 319 bird species thanks to their maintenance of excellent bird habitat. Check out their “It Starts at the Beach” Activities Guide to find out about birding in the area. Or pick up “It’s Easy Being Green” at the Port Franks Marina to learn more about doing your part composting or recycling. You’ll also find out about their great Loan a Bike Program that allows boaters to borrow a bike to explore the local area in an eco-friendly way.
On the east coast, the Halifax Waterfront Marina has a cool new addition that has been drawing the attention of visitors. An artificial reef or “Reef Ball” was installed to help restore marine habitat and increase awareness of threats to Nova Scotia’s ocean environment. The best part? A live webcam has been installed on the reef that allows passerby to witness the marine life that lives on and around the reef. There are also interpretative signs that help the public understand what they’re witnessing.
In Manitoba, the Rural Municipality of Gimli has a beachfront film festival where they include environmental movies. In July, they played the film “How to Change the World” a documentary about the founders of Greenpeace. This movie inspires residents to be aware of the challenges the environment faces and the opportunities we have to be environmental stewards. What better way to learn than relaxing on the beach and taking in a great flick!
These programs are just a few examples of some of the great initiatives offered to allow members of the public the opportunity to learn more about the amazing biodiversity that exists all around us. Check out one of our Blue Flag beaches and marina across Canada. You never know what you’ll learn!