Wednesday, May 20, 2015 (Halifax, NS) – For the third year in a row, Birch Cove Beach in Dartmouth has received the prestigious Blue Flag, an internationally recognized and respected eco-certification for beaches and marinas.
Recipients from across Canada were announced today, May 20, in a press release from Environmental Defence, the environmental action organization that administers the Blue Flag Canada Program.
“A Blue Flag symbolizes that a beach or marina is clean, swimmable, and meets high safety and environmental standards,” said Brett Tryon, Blue Flag Program Manager with Environmental Defence. “When you see a Blue Flag flying, you know you are at a world class beach or marina.”
Nestled along Banook Lake, Birch Cove remains the only Nova Scotia beach to ever receive the Blue Flag designation.
Gloria McCluskey, the councillor for District 5 (Dartmouth Centre), said Birch Cove is always a busy spot, especially in the summer months, with people of all ages enjoying free swimming lessons, boating and other activities in the adjoining park.
“Birch Cove Beach is a real treasure in our community and I’m so pleased that others recognize that too,” Councillor McCluskey said. “Maintaining our Blue Flag designation helps puts our little beach on the map as a site that everyone should visit when they come to Dartmouth. We’re looking forward to another great season.”
The Blue Flag criteria for beaches and marinas are organized into four categories:
- Water Quality
- Environmental Management
- Environmental Education
- Safety and Services
Blue Flag Canada performs control visits during the beach season in order to make certain all these criteria are being met. This is critical to ensure that all awarded beaches uphold the integrity of the program.
There are currently more than 4,000 Blue Flags flying in 48 countries around the world. This year, Blue Flags were awarded to 26 beaches and six marinas across Canada, including the Halifax Waterfront. Halifax was the first and only Nova Scotia marina to receive the designation back in 2012, and has received the Blue Flag every year since.
For more information on Birch Cove Beach and the Blue Flag Canada Program, please visit www.halifax.ca/rec/birch-cove-beach.php.