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Two provincial park beaches get nod for water quality

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The main beach at Winnipeg Beach Provincial Park and the West Beach at Grand Beach Provincial Park have been given Blue Flag eco-certification for water quality and environmental management, the province said Wednesday.

The international Blue Flag is awarded to beaches and marinas around the globe that demonstrate recognized standards in water quality, environmental management, environmental education, safety and services. The award is administered in Canada by Environmental Defence and is managed internationally by the Denmark-based Foundation for Environmental Education. The Blue Flag program has been in Canada since 2005.

The West Grand Beach at Grand Beach Provincial Park was first awarded Blue Flag status two years ago.

The province says the Blue Flag program requires beaches to be reviewed on 32 criteria related to water quality, environmental education, environmental management, safety and services. The standards ensure the beach is protected and that public use will not harm its ecosystem.

The designation must be approved by a regional Canadian jury made up of independent experts before receiving final approval from an international jury in Europe. Beaches in 36 countries are certified under the Blue Flag program including 24 beaches and marinas in Canada.

For more information on the Blue Flag program, go to www.blueflag.ca

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