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Canada Aboiteau becomes 1st Blue Flag-certified beach in New Brunswick

12:27  16 may  2018
12:27  16 may  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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Aboiteau Beach becomes the first Blue Flag - certified New Brunswick beach . (Gabrielle Fahmy/CBC). Only 26 other Canadian beaches will raise the blue flag this year, and Aboiteau Beach will be the first in New Brunswick . Mayor Serge Léger said the designation could increase

A blue flag could mean a lot of green for a coastal New Brunswick community. Aboiteau Beach in Cap-Pelé has been awarded the Blue Flag designation, an international standard indicating beaches that are, among other things, safe and meet strict criteria for water quality.

a group of people sitting at a beach: Aboiteau Beach becomes the first Blue Flag-certified New Brunswick beach.© Gabrielle Fahmy/CBC Aboiteau Beach becomes the first Blue Flag-certified New Brunswick beach.

A blue flag could mean a lot of green for a coastal New Brunswick community.

Aboiteau Beach in Cap-Pelé has been awarded the Blue Flag designation, an international standard indicating beaches that are, among other things, safe and meet strict criteria for water quality.

Only 26 other Canadian beaches will raise the blue flag this year, and Aboiteau Beach will be the first in New Brunswick.

a man smiling for the camera: Mayor Serge Léger said the designation could increase tourist spending in the village.© CBC Mayor Serge Léger said the designation could increase tourist spending in the village.

While the designation shows a concerted effort to protect the environment, the municipality is hopeful it will be a boon for the tourism industry.

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Aboiteau Beach becomes the first Blue Flag - certified New Brunswick beach . (Gabrielle Fahmy/CBC). Aboiteau becomes 1 st Blue Flag - certified beach in New Brunswick . The Blue Flag was raised at Aboiteau Sunday. It took them three years of work to qualify for the designation.

Aboiteau Beach in Cap-Pelé might become the province's first Blue Flag - certified beach if water quality is maintained. "We're really thrilled to hopefully have a beach from New Brunswick get the award. "They have made a lot of improvements and they're very close to meeting all of the criteria."

"It's going to support our local business and bring the tourists to town," said Cap-Pelé Mayor Serge Léger. "It's going to create more visibility and profitability."

He said tourism during the warmer months is a crucial revenue source for the village.

"We need it to survive year-round," he told Shift New Brunswick.

Tourist draw

The Blue Flag program is an annual "eco-certification" for beaches and marinas across the world. Selected areas have met stringent criteria that show a jury, and later tourists, the location is clean and accessible, meets high water and safety standards and strives to protect local ecosystems.

"Millions of tourists around the world look for a Blue Flag when choosing a beach or marina to visit. And there's a good reason for that," said Kelsey Scarfone, Blue Flag program manager with Environmental Defence, in a release.

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Aboiteau becomes 1 st Blue Flag - certified beach in New Brunswick . That's where the increase started." Blue Flag helps. Aboiteau hasn't suffered fallout from water-quality concerns at Parlee Beach , which saw a drop in attendance last year of 25 per cent.

Aboiteau becomes 1 st Blue Flag - certified beach in New Brunswick . The Blue Flag was raised at Aboiteau Sunday. It took them three years of work to qualify for the designation. (CBC). But according to Chuck Steeves, chair of the Pointe-du-Chêne local service district where the beach is located

a close up of a logo: Only 26 other Canadian beaches get to fly a blue flag for meeting strict water quality standards.© Blue Flag Canada Only 26 other Canadian beaches get to fly a blue flag for meeting strict water quality standards.

"When you see a Blue Flag raised at a beach or marina, you know that it's clean, sustainably managed and a safe place to swim. Great family vacations start with finding a Blue Flag."

Environmental Defence Canada administers the program in Canada.

Water quality issues

The Village of Cap-Pelé decided in 2015 it would seek a blue flag and spent the next three years adhering to criteria outlined in a dense 43-page document.

The committee went through Blue Flag's checklist of 33 strict criteria, including everything from having an appropriate number of lifeguards at the beach to clean and accessible restrooms.

Léger said the work also included water quality testing, environmental assessments to ensure the preservation of its dunes and building a wheelchair accessible ramp.

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Aboiteau Beach is the first saltwater beach in Canada to have the blue flag certification . Aboiteau Beach has everything you need for a relaxing family holiday. A short stroll along the boardwalk will take you anywhere you want to go. Walk the 5 km long shoreline, go for a swim in the warm saltwater, or

The flag of New Brunswick consists of a golden lion passant on a red field in the upper third and a gold field defaced with a lymphad on top of blue and white wavy lines in the bottom two-thirds. Adopted in 1965 shortly after the new national flag was inaugurated

people walking on a beach: The water quality has been improved at Aboiteau Beach in order to meet Blue Flag standards.© Radio-Canada The water quality has been improved at Aboiteau Beach in order to meet Blue Flag standards.

Aboiteau Beach has struggled with poor water quality. Tests revealed the presence of fecal bacteria over safe swimming levels on some days in 2016, setting back hopes for the Blue Flag designation.

Léger said they improved the quality by cleaning the beach every day and monitoring incoming water sources. The levels will need to remain high if they want to retain the designation next year.

"We got it all done after three years and $120,000," he said, "but we're proud to have the blue flag."

A flag raising ceremony will be held June 17.

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