Grand Bend, Port Stanley Beaches Get Blue Flags
As summer approaches, you’ll want to know where the best beaches are. Thankfully, a few area beaches have been internationally recognized as being the best in southwestern Ontario.
The Blue Flag award has been awarded to beaches like the Grand Bend Beach, Port Stanley’s main beach, which is the only certified beach on Lake Erie, and most recently, Canatara Park Beach in Sarnia.
The Blue Flag denotes that a beach has met 33 different criteria ranging from environmental education to water quality. Environmental Defence, the group that awards Blue Flags, looks at water quality data, beach cleanliness, and whether or not washrooms and facilities have wheelchair access, among other things.
“Once (the beaches) have had a successful pilot season, they can apply for the award. All of the awards are reviewed by a jury of independent experts, and then those applications go to an international jury. So it’s a pretty thorough process.” says Blue Flag Canada Program Manager Brett Tryon. “There’s some really positive things happening. You hear a lot of environmental bad news stories all the time… but I think it’s important that we celebrate the good work that’s happening.”
Blue Flag Beaches in Ontario:
- Bayfield Main Beach and Bluewater Marina (Municipality of Bluewater)
- 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)
- Grand Bend Beach, Grand Bend Marina and Port Franks Marina (Municipality of Lambton Shores)
- Port Stanley Main Beach (Municipality of Central Elgin)
- Sauble Beach (Town of South Bruce Peninsula)
- Station Beach (Kincardine)
- Wasaga Beach areas 1, 2 and 5 (Wasaga Beach Provincial Park)
- Waubuno Beach (Parry Sound)
For a full list of Blue Flag beaches around the world, visit www.blueflag.ca.