On track to fly Blue Flag, an international award for clean beaches
Toronto, Ontario – Wasaga Beach near Barrie, Ontario has been awarded a candidate certificate to fly the Blue Flag, an international award for clean beaches, Environmental Defence announced today. Environmental Defence is the coordinator of the Blue Flag program in Canada.
“We’re so pleased that Wasaga Beach has joined the Blue Flag program as a candidate beach,” said Sarah Winterton, Programme Director, Environmental Defence. “ Wasaga Beach is on track to joining thousands of world-class beaches that are proudly flying the Blue Flag.”
More than 2,500 beaches in over 30 countries, including five beaches in Ontario, all fly the Blue Flag. For Wasaga Beach to qualify for a Blue Flag, it must meet 27 specific criteria based on water quality, environmental management, environmental education, and safety and services.
“We are very excited about our participation in the program. This certification provides an opportunity to connect community, Provincial Park and global beach and water management standards into the operation and management of the world’s longest freshwater beach,” said Mark Shoreman, Park Superintendent, Wasaga Beach Provincial Park.
Water quality at all Blue Flag beaches must meet Ontario’s standards for recreational water quality (the most stringent in North America) for at least 80% of the swimming season. Blue Flags are awarded to beaches at the beginning of each swimming season, and must be renewed every year. Beaches can lose their Blue Flags during the season if they fail to meet the required criteria.
Wasaga Beach ’s formal Blue Flag application must be reviewed and approved by two independent juries – the Blue Flag Great Lakes Regional Jury and the International Blue Flag Jury. If all goes well, a Blue Flag will be flying at Wasaga Beach at the beginning of the swimming season in 2007.
Earlier this summer, Environmental Defence awarded Blue Flags to four Toronto beaches and to Sauble Beach in the Town of South Bruce Peninsula (near Owen Sound, Ontario). Environmental Defence also awarded Blue Flag Candidate Certificates to Station Beach in Kincardine and Rotary Cove Beach in Goderich, Ontario. For more information about Blue Flag Canada, please visit www.BlueFlag.ca
About Blue Flag
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 2,500 beaches in over 30 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 Ministry of Culture that receives annually $100 million of government funding generated through Ontario’s charity casino initiative.
About Environmental Defence ( www.environmentaldefence.ca) Environmental Defence protects the environment and human health. We research. We educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air, safe food and thriving ecosystems. Nationwide.
For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)