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Making Waves

A Lot of Fuss Over Blue Flag Beaches

By Claire McCormack

Environmental Defence Canada has released its list of Blue Flag beaches and marinas this year, saying it's a record number.

27 beaches and nine marinas.

That record is an increase of one Blue Flag over last year. (marina)

In our area, the Blue Flags are the parts of Wasaga Beach that don't allow dogs, (1,2 and 5) Bayfield Main Beach and Bluewater Marina as well as Grand Bend and Port Franks Marina.

I've been seeing people getting upset on social media that their beach isn't good enough.

There are loads of clean, fantastic beaches do not that have Blue Flags.

Here's a look at some of the 33 criteria needed for a Blue Flag; having drinking water, first aid kits, lifesaving equipment, things like designated swimming and boating areas, recycling and garbage bins, signs with maps, signs with educational information, no garbage, oil or algae in the water or natural debris on the beach, no dogs, noise restrictions, the beach or marina must comply with laws, environmental regulations/recommendations, you need a beach management committee and you can't camp or drive on the beach.

But one thing that isn't strictly enforced is accessibility for all.

And the water has to be tested every month.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit only tests a handful of times a year.

Because here's the thing, it's time consuming, it costs money, and takes days for results, that would no longer necessarily be accurate, or at all necessary.

Each year a municipality must apply for a Blue Flag.

Every other place in Grey, Bruce, Huron, Dufferin, Simcoe, and Lambton counties, does not have a Blue Flag.

Kincardine is a candidate.

Environmental Defence says people look for Blue Flag beaches worldwide when on vacation.

Do you?

I don't.

All this to say, don't let it get you, instead go out and enjoy the sunshine.

Claire McCormack,

Making Waves


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