Grand Bend Beach and Port Stanley’s Main Beach are just two of the several London-area beaches that have received the internationally renowned Blue Flag award this year.
In all, 26 Canadian beaches and seven marinas are on this year’s list of Blue Flag award recipients.
The prestigious eco-certification, managed internationally by the Foundation for Environmental Education but administered in Canada by the organization Environmental Defence, is used to signify which beaches and marinas are the best in terms of cleanliness and sustainability.
In order to be awarded the Blue Flag, beaches and marinas must meet 33 strict criteria in the four categories of water quality, safety and services, environmental management, and environmental education.
Grand Bend Beach was first awarded the Blue Flag in 2009, while Port Stanley’s Main Beach was first awarded in 2010. Both have received Blue Flags every year since.
The Grand Bend Marina and Port Franks Marina also received Blue Flags this year for the seventh year in a row.
Other local 2016 Blue Flag award recipients include Port Glasgow Beach in Port Glasgow, Canatara Park Beach in Sarnia, and Bayfield Main Beach and Bluewater Marina, both in Bayfield.
According to Environmental Defence, over 4,000 beaches and marinas around the world fly the Blue Flag.
“When you see a Blue Flag flying, you are assured that a beach or marina is clean and meets high safety, water quality, and environmental standards. It’s a symbol trusted by millions around the world,” said Ashley Wallis, Blue Flag Program Manager at Environmental Defence, in a statement.
A full list of this year’s Blue Flag recipients can be found below:
- Gibsons Marina (Gibsons)*
- Gimli Beach (Town of Gimli)
- West Grand Beach (Grand Beach Provincial Park)
- Winnipeg Beach (Winnipeg Beach Provincial Park)
- Birch Cove Beach (Dartmouth)
- Halifax Waterfront (Halifax)
- Bayfield Main Beach and Bluewater Marina (Municipality of Bluewater)
- Bell Park Beach (Sudbury)
- Bluffer’s Park Beach, Centre Island Beach, Cherry Beach, Gibraltar Point Beach, Hanlan’s Point Beach, Kew-Balmy Beach, Ward’s Island Beach and Woodbine Beach (Toronto)
- Canatara Park Beach (Sarnia)
- City of Barrie Marina (Barrie)
- Grand Bend Beach, Grand Bend Marina and Port Franks Marina (Municipality of Lambton Shores)
- LaSalle Park Marina (Burlington)
- Port Glasgow Beach (Municipality of West Elgin)**
- Port Stanley Main Beach (Municipality of Central Elgin)
- Victoria Beach (Cobourg)**
- Wasaga Beach areas 1, 2 and 5 (Wasaga Beach Provincial Park)
- Waubuno Beach (Parry Sound)
- plage de l’Est, plage de l’Ouest, and plage des Cantons (Ville de Magog)
* – First Blue Flag award recipient in B.C.
** – Latest beaches to receive Blue Flags