Kincardine's Station Beach has been awarded a Blue Flag on June 7 by Environmental Defence Canada for the fourth year in a row. It is one of 15 beaches and three marinas to meet Blue Flag's strict international standards to protect the environment. Blue Flag beaches and marinas meet high standards around water quality, environmental education, environmental management, and safety and services.
"Congratulations to the municipality of Kincardine and everyone in the community who has made sure that Station Beach continues to earn Blue Flag status," says Sarah Winterton, education and outreach director for Environmental Defence. "As one of the first beaches in Ontario to get a Blue Flag, we're so pleased that Station Beach continues to excel."
This summer, Blue Flags will fly at the following beaches: Kew-Balmy Beach, Woodbine Beach, Cherry Beach, Ward's Island Beach, Centre Island Beach, Gibraltar Point Beach, Hanlan's Point Beach (Lake Ontario, Toronto); Port Stanley Main Beach (Lake Erie, Central Elgin); Grand Bend Beach; Bayfield Main Beach; Station Beach (Kincardine); Sauble Beach; Little River Beach Park and Northwinds Beach Park (Georgian Bay, Blue Mountains); and Wasaga Beach Provincial Park. Three marinas, all on Lake Huron, also received a Blue Flag: Bluewater Marina, Grand Bend Marina, and Port Franks Marina.
More than 3,400 beaches and marinas are certified under the Blue Flag program in 41 countries, including throughout Europe and the Caribbean. Blue Flags have been awarded in Canada since 2003. Beaches and marinas that want to receive a Blue Flag must apply each season. Independent juries of experts in Canada and internationally study each application and determine whether a marina or beach meets the standards for certification. Blue Flags can be removed during the season if a marina or beach fails to meet the required criteria.
More details about the Blue Flag program and the certified marinas and beaches can be found on the website http://www.blueflag.ca/ . Environmental Defence, which is the Canadian Operator of the Blue Flag program, protects the environment and human health.