There are many gorgeous natural spaces in Canada, from the tundra of the north to the wild expanses of the Yukon, from the Canadian Rockies to the crystal blue and turquoise waters of Lake Louise in Banff. But if you’re looking for a beach atmosphere, you can do little better than the awesome Wasaga Beach in Ontario.

Wasaga Beach is considered a “Blue Flag” beach, a great honor that demonstrates just how friendly it is for visitors. In addition to complying with regulations for washrooms, lifeguards, first aid equipment and other general safety standards, Blue Flag beaches must meet certain water quality standards. The bodies of water must be tested in several locations to comply with bathing water criteria. Testers regularly take samples to look for potential concerns. Blue Flag beaches also avoid sewage and wastewater discharge.

There are two dozen certified Blue Flag beaches in Canada, and thousands around the world. Wasaga is a special example of an absolutely gorgeous freshwater beach, the longest of its kind in Canada (14 km) and one that brings in thousands of tourists every single year.

But despite its Blue Flag certification, more help from the public is needed to reduce human impact and maintain its ecological integrity long into the future.

Protecting one of Canada’s greatest shorelines

Wasaga Beach was in the news in 2017 and has been this year as well as residents have had concerns about how well the beach has been maintained (or rather, not maintained) under the direction of Ontario Parks.

The provincial representative of Simcoe-Grey called on the minister of natural resources and forestry last summer to take appropriate action to clean up the shoreline at Wasaga Beach. Of particular note were some messes at the beach, conditions that were allowed to create a “mosquito breeding ground” hindering locals and tourists alike from getting full enjoyment out of the area, and a general “lack of respect being shown” to the beach and the natural area.

This wasn’t the first time the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry had to be petitioned to take action in the area. In 2016, different resident associations called for action to provide Ontario Parks with more resources to keep the beach free and to prevent a buildup of garbage and weeds.

Wasaga Beach continues to be a jewel of Canada’s natural world, but we all need to do more to promote awareness of the potential human impact on the site and the need to keep it clean and maintained.

If you would like to help out at Wasaga Beach, contact SoilAdvocates for more information or to participate as part of a group of like-minded supporters.

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