Blue Flag Canada Program

Blue Flag Beach


Blue Flags are awarded to beaches and marinas that meet strict criteria for water quality, environmental education, environmental management, and safety and services.

Blue Flags are flying at 26 beaches and six marinas in Canada. ** Please note that it is unsafe to attempt to swim within the waters of any marina due to the possibility of Electric Shock Drowning.  Please see Article 1 and Article 2 to learn more on ESD.

If you have a question or comment about the program, or something to report about the conditions of a Blue Flag beach, please let us know by emailing

The Campaign

As the coordinator of Blue Flag Canada, Environmental Defence works with beach and marina managers, their partners, and community stakeholders to achieve the international Blue Flag award. The Blue Flag International program is managed by the Foundation for Environmental Education, a non-governmental, non-profit organization promoting sustainable development through environmental education.

Blue Flag Standards

Water Quality

The Blue Flag program requires that beaches achieve excellent bathing water quality. Blue Flag beaches undergo regular water quality sampling measured against national standards and legislation.

Environmental Management
Dedicated beach management committees are set up at Blue Flag sites to conduct environmental audits of the site and its facilities. The committee is also responsible for ensuring that beach habitat is protected and managed sustainably.

Environmental Education
Educational activities that promote sustainability are an important part of the Blue Flag program. Environmental education activities can range from educational signage to training workshops for municipal staff.

Safety and Services
Blue Flag sites are required to be safe and accessible for all ages and for people with disabilities. Lifeguards or lifesaving and first aid equipment must also be available at the Blue Flag beach. Emergency and safety measures must be in place to protect the users of the Blue Flag site.


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