From 2007 to 2009, EcoSpark supported a network of volunteers to monitor the health and safety of Toronto's beaches. Volunteers tracked Toronto beaches' compliance with the international Blue Flag program, an international eco-label that recognizes safe and healthy beaches in 36 countries.
EcoSpark was the local Toronto partner of the Blue Flag program. One of our roles was to support a network of volunteers interested in monitoring health and safety of beaches. For beaches that have already been awarded the Blue Flag, volunteers helped to ensure that the beaches continue to meet strict Blue Flag program criteria by identifying areas of non-compliance throughout the bathing season. For beaches that have not been awarded the Blue Flag, volunteers help to assess the beach using the Blue Flag criteria, forming a preliminary report on the suitability of the beach for the Blue Flag designation. Our volunteers monitored seven beaches up to four times each.
The volunteer monitoring program was successful at tracking beaches’ compliance with Blue Flag criteria overall.
Environmental Defence continues as the coordinator of Blue Flag Canada, working with beach and marina managers, their partners, and community stakeholders to achieve the international Blue Flag award.
EcoSpark, Environmental Defence, Toronto Region Conservation Authority