Wasaga Beach Raises Blue Flag

Wasaga Beach is the first provincial park in Canada to meet international standards for clean beaches.

That achievement means Wasaga qualifies for the Blue Flag, an international award for clean beaches, Environmental Defence announced today. Environmental Defence is a Canadian organization aimed at protecting the environment and human health.

Environmental Defence the Blue Flag coordinator in Canada presented Wasaga Beach Provincial Park and the Town of Wasaga Beach with a Blue Flag at a special ceremony at Wasaga Beach. Town of Wasaga Beach Mayor Cal Patterson, Wasaga Beach Provincial Park Superintendent John Fisher, Friends of Nancy Island Historic Site and Environmental Defence joined together to raise the Blue Flag.

“Environmental Defence is pleased to present a Blue Flag to Wasaga Beach, the first Blue Flag Provincial Park beach in North America,” said Sarah Winterton, Programme Director, Environmental Defence. “Flying a Blue Flag will tell visitors and residents alike that Wasaga Beach is world-class.”

More than 2,600 beaches in over 36 countries, including nine beaches in Canada, fly the Blue Flag. To qualify for a Blue Flag, beaches must meet 27 specific criteria based on water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety and services. Water quality at Blue Flag beaches must meet Ontario’s standards for recreational water quality (the most stringent in North America) at least 80% of the swimming season. 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 criteria.

“In cooperation with Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, Friends of Nancy Island Historic Site and our staff, we have proven that we have one of the finest beaches in the world,” said Cal Patterson, Mayor of the Town of Wasaga Beach. “We will continue to work together to maintain this prestigious honour.”

Working with Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, Environmental Defence monitored Wasaga Beach over the past swimming season. The monitoring results were reviewed and approved by two independent juries the Blue Flag Great Lakes Regional Jury and the International Blue Flag Jury before the Blue Flag was awarded to Wasaga Beach.

“For Wasaga Beach to be the first Provincial Park in all of Canada to receive the Blue Flag status is indeed outstanding,” said John Fisher, Park Superintendent. “Wasaga Beach Provincial Park is proud of the many improvements to the sand dune and shoreline ecosystems that have occurred over the past that will complement this prestigious designation.”

Environmental Defence continues to monitor Wasaga Beach Provincial Park’s compliance with the Blue Flag criteria, including the weekly water quality tests taken by the Simcoe County Health Unit. Water test results for Wasaga Beach are available on Environmental Defence’s Blue Flag Canada web site, www.BlueFlag.ca.

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 2,500 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.

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.