Grand Bend beach. BlackburnNews.com photo by Melanie Irwin

Sarnia-Lambton Considered ‘Blue Flag Hot Spot’

Sarnia-Lambton is now being considered a “Blue Flag Hot Spot” in Canada.

Four local attractions are among a record 27 beaches and eight marinas across Canada that will be flying the prestigious Blue Flag this summer.

Environmental Defense Program Manager Brett Tryon says Grand Bend Beach, Canatara Park Beach and the marinas in Grand Bend and Port Franks in Lambton Shores have earned the world-renowned eco-certification.

“It’s great for the tourism there,” says Tryon. “People can go to that region and know that they have lots of Blue Flag beaches to choose from. It’s sort of like going to wine country, where you have lots of different wineries that you can visit, so it’s nice to have that cluster.”

She says it’s a real point of pride.

“The Blue Flag is a symbol of excellence. It means that a beach has met a strict set of criteria for environmental education, environmental management, safety and services and water quality. Those same strict standards are met at any beach that’s flying the Blue Flag. So, [visitors] know that they’re among the best in the world.”

Tryon says beaches and marinas have to apply each year and demonstrate that they’re continuing to to meet all of the standards. She says site audits are also conducted each summer to make sure the attractions are in compliance.

Three Canadian beaches will raise the Blue Flag for the first time this year, including Colchester Harbour Marina in the town of Essex.

A map of all the Blue Flag sites worldwide can be viewed here.

-With files from Lee Michaels