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.

28 thoughts on “Wasaga Beach Raises Blue Flag”

  1. My question is what do you guys have to do there is there vollyball courts ? tennis courts? etc

  2. No surprise to our family…we relocated to Wasaga Beach because we loved vacationing here. My personal love for these pristine beaches combined with the “home town” mentality of the residents made our transition easy. I applaud the staff of Wasaga Beach for their diligence in keeping our Town and the beach areas clean and in tip top shape. Bravo!

    W. Gudzus

  3. @Melanie – when we were there we saw people playing beach volleyball and soccer. There were also lots of small shops along the beach. You could check wasagainfo.com for things in the area but I don’t think that site is specific to the park.

  4. Jam: Wasaga Beach P.P. is a day use only park. There are no campgrounds in the park. Camping on the beach is not permitted. There may be privately run campgrounds or cottages in the area, but those would be run by the town of Wasaga Beach, not the park.

  5. hi we went to wasaga 2 week ago and we notice the water was so dirty and no washroom its my second i been there so never again..

  6. wasaga is the largest fresh water beach in the world….you can do anything there……….wasaga and collingwood/blue mtn is one of the nicest spots in the world take the time to check it out…travel where you live….p.s there is sand in the water thats why it looks dirty!!!!!!!look for the bathroom at the end of the main strip and behind the dard and bk b king…………

  7. we love wasaga beach very much, so do our kids.
    we have been going there for years.
    only complaint is no camping nearby that i know of, my budget no longer allows for the hotel scene, so my kids are doing without this last two years.
    if you know of one that i don’t please let me know.

  8. I am truly surprised that someone could give you any award for that beach? Have you ever been there? The sand gets literally covered with litter around the noon and it’s only getting worse later. The limited garbage bins are full and the picknicking families gladly leave the waste on the parking lot. And the water is not clean at all. And motorboats keep very close to the shoreline making swimming dangerous.

    My only response to this award is: shame on those who gave it to Wasaga Beach!

    PS: The beach in Pinery Provincial Park is almost as long as in Wasaga, but it is much cleaner and more pleasant.

  9. Reply to Ram…..I don’t know what part of Wasaga Beach you were at but the beaches are clean and there are washrooms in the park right off the beach. The water can’t be that dirty and we have been going there for years and never once have we encountered dirty water. Try again.

  10. To Shelley, July 4th Posting : RE Camping Close to Wasaga Beach:

    My family and I camped at Craigleith Provincial Park last summer. It’s about 15-20min (?) away from Wasaga Beach. If you camp at Craigleith, you can park for free at the Wasaga Prov. Park, which is right on the beach! Craigleith is loud (close to the highway) but clean; we camped along the waterfront: we had a little trail from our campsite to the rocky shoreline. Nice smooth rocks; kids loved playing in the waves there (Hint: wear watershoes)

    We were able to enjoy Wasaga Beach without the hefty hotel bill, parked practically on the beach, and we only a short drive from “supper”, Try it!

  11. Hello,

    I guess it’s nice to have a clean beach. I visited Wassaga on Sunday, July 8, 2007, beach #5. Over the years (I’m Wassaga visitor since 1999) beach are getting dirtier and dirtier. There is no hand soap in a washroom! Washroom is a mess. You cannot wash both your hands at the same time. You have to keep water running by one hand while washing other and vice versa. At the same time price for one day stay $16!
    WOW! For this price you guys cannot afford hand soap? Shame.

    Will never go to Wassaga again. Pinery is much better.


  12. Do you know of any camp grounds around that are withing driving distance of Wassaga Beach?

  13. Congrats to Wasaga Beach.
    I have been going to Wasaga Beach for over 20 years and have always found it fantastic. The water is very shallow so boats don’t get near and body surfing when the waves are up is awesome. The water is clean and warm. Sometimes some plant material accumulates after a storm but just walk a bit down the beach to find some clear areas. As for the people who are pigs that leave their garbage, I am just happy to say they are few in number. Most people enjoy the beach and leave it clean. I get a season pass to the beach $80 which allows me to park close to the beach and the washrooms are nearby.
    I’ll be on the beach in few days and will look for the flag.

  14. I sure would like to see and hear about the Crescent Lake campsite. The rustic nature of the campgrounds sounds like how I like to camp. Any picture? Is a map available? Where is it located? The Lake Superior Provencial Park web site does not show its location or give much information.

  15. Are they sure they gave this award to Wasaga Beach? That beach has the dirtiest and smelliest water ever! I would much rather visit Sauble which is so clean and pristene. I think that award is a farce. A very long time ago, back in the early 70’s, late 60’s when I used to go…now that’s when that award could be given, now, well you can’t even see your feet anymore – it’s so sad and such a shame. I used to love Wasaga.

  16. growing up I went to wasaga alot, but it has gotten worse, last year I took my family up for a day mid july and there was about 10-15 feet of sludge in the water right at the shoreline, it was disgusting.

  17. Beach #5 has the cleanest water, and is the most family oriented. The washrooms and park
    are always very well maintained and the cost is a bargain. A blue flag designation is well deserved.

  18. Based on all of the comments, it is obvious that one persons perception of what is dirty is not the same to another person. Lakes are not like swimming pools. Yes, you will find dirt in the water, because that is natural. The lakes are not chemically treated to keep the smell down, which is why you smell naturally decaying plants and maybe some fish. Another point to consider is, a one day day trip per year, or every couple of months is not enough to make an informed judgement. For exampe, if you were to ask a butterfly resting on tree, do the leaves ever fall off? The butterfly would answer, ” I have never seen this tree without leaves, therefore they must not fall off!”. As for the washrooms at the park, I can only echo the same thoughts as the previous comentaters, they could use some upgrading and a bit of soap would be nice. I would imagine that keeping the beaches clean is a monumental task. Especially with the large numbers of people visiting. Try arriving early in the morning, that is when you will see empty garbage cans.

  19. The Blueflag system that has been implemented at Wasaga Beach doesn’t have anything to do with the garbage or washrooms. It’s a system put there so that when you want to go swimming you look at the flag and if it is flying high, it’s telling you that the water has been tested and it’s safe for you to swim. If the flag is flying at half mast, then bacteria levels are unsafe for you to swim. As for the gargabe, the park has a HUGE maintenance staff that are constantly (literally) picking it up, heat exhustion is a major problem due to these students being in the sun for 8 hours every day. I commend them for their hard work picking up after the hundreds of people that too lazy to pick up their own garbage.
    The Park Wardens are doing an excellent job making sure boaters and water device operators (kite boards, wake boards etc) obey the regulations near the beach area. They do not take lightly to people endangering other peoples lives. Overall Wasaga is an experience that no Ontarian should miss.

  20. @Sammy …. “The beach in Pinery Provincial Park is almost as long as in Wasaga, but it is much cleaner and more pleasant. …. Pinery is more pleasant because the teens turn Wasaga into an animal house on wkends. Another fact: Pinery beach is closed parts of every summer due to high bacterial pollution. Same for Sandbanks. The best “big” beach in ontario is at killbear. But please stay away!

  21. You guys want clean beaches go to the caribbean or bahamas.

  22. Hi: I went a few times to Wasaga Beach and YES I notice the change BUT people MUST need to cooperate with the garbage and bathrooms. (Some of the People are not all well educated Re: organization and cleannig)
    Of course the Climate Changes doesn’t help at all and a place like Wasaga WILL pay the price like others places that YOU may be don’t know but BECAUSE this beautiful beach is the closes one from Toronto( specially) it is very easy to criticize instead to COOPERATE ( what don’t you go as a volunteers and help our environment??)
    I’m from South America and yes we do have bad weather – as a result in summer we do have problems with the water and we can’t swim but doesn’t means all the beaches are like that.
    Please don’t complain to much and HELP or give ideas WHAT TO DO.
    Best regards
    ivana from Mississauga

    NOTE: Somebody said about “best beaches are at Killbear Park” …. well I go there for 15 years and I’m already sent a letter to the Minister of Ontario – and Ontario Parks RE: TO AVOID big motor-boats because ARE DESTROYING the environment.
    Till today nobody answered me back= VERY SAD.
    But I’m not given up 🙂

  23. Don’t blame the staff, blame the lazy jerks who trash the place every nice summer day. And as Paul says, it sounds like most of you would be better off enjoying the clean, dead waters of the Caribbeans than the living, ‘dirty’ lake waters of Canada.

  24. Sunshine Park is about two mins north east of the main strip,… not a real nice park but good times all the same! Bring yer beer in cans and leave the kids at home! as for the cleanliness of the beach, a blog page is a bad place to research it! people just love to be negative on the net! and frequently like to bash each other since they can generally do so with minimal backlash.

    Its a Beach! some days will be cleaner than others, last i was there is was clean as far as i could tell. clean enough for me to be comfortable in the water, or to throw a football on the beach,… stop looking for garbage and check out some bikinis man!

  25. Hello
    Wasaga is a great place for every group age.
    It has big picnic tables so you can fit every thing on it.
    It has very clean sand.
    It has washrooms near by and they are very clean as well.
    Water is also clean; if you see it dirty it’s because of the sand in the bottom of the water like “Trevor” explained.
    Staffs and security personals are very friendly as well.
    I suggest wasaga beach to you if you are looking for a beach to spend your time in.
    All together, it is an excellent park.
    I give 10/10 rate for wasaga.
    Thank in advance to the wasaga beach associate and the city.

    Take care all byeeeee
    Best regards:


  26. Dave: “The best “big” beach in ontario is at killbear. But please stay away!”

    I am not obsessed with the word ‘big’. My favourite places are small rocky lakes up in the North, where you still can find some solitude. And aside from Killbear PP, Georgian Bay offers Killarney PP and Bruce Peninsula NP.

    paul angas: “You guys want clean beaches go to the caribbean or bahamas”

    Well, what’s wrong with the idea of having clean and tidy beaches here, in Ontario?

    Ivana Bottini: “it is very easy to criticize instead to COOPERATE”

    Personally, whenever I am outdoors, I always try to pick something and cary ot over to the nearest garbage bin. I do appreciate the work that the park stuff does to CLEAN the beaches, but I believe that punishing those who litter would help to KEEP the beaches clean.

    Ivana Bottini: “big motor-boats because ARE DESTROYING the environment.”

    Not only do the motor boats, but also ATVs, RVs and other motorized recriational toys.
    And so many of the cottagers do not show much support to the environment.
    But here you are touching some of the political aspects of fighting the global warming and polution that our government is not yet ready to face. One day, maybe.

  27. I live in Wasaga Beach and go skim boarding almost everyday. This is for those who say the water is dirty, the water is not dirty at all, I’ve been today. Don’t come on here and start bashing Wasaga Beach unless you have seen all beaches 1-6. The only reason beach 1 is dirty is because all you city folk leave you garbage all over the beach and we’re sick of it. Some of the things you have been saying is offensive and rude. You have made the beach what you have hated, USE THE GARBAGE BINS! They’re everywhere..

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