POINTE-DU-CHÊNE (GNB) – A public celebration was held at Parlee Beach Provincial Park today to mark the kickoff of summer and to recognize the beach’s Blue Flag designation.

“Parlee Beach boasts the warmest salt water in Canada and is one of North America’s finest beaches,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Robert Gauvin. “Our government is proud that Parlee Beach Provincial Park, a major tourism draw for New Brunswick, was awarded the Blue Flag designation this year. With this prestigious eco-certification, residents and visitors can be assured that Parlee Beach is clean, environmentally sustainable and a safe place to swim.”

To receive this designation, beaches and marinas must meet international standards in water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety and services.

Parlee Beach is one of two beaches in the Atlantic region to receive the Blue Flag designation; the other is Aboiteau Beach in Cap-Pelé which earned the international eco-certification last year.

Four beaches and marinas in the Atlantic provinces have the Blue Flag designation: Parlee Beach, Aboiteau Beach, Shediac Bay Yacht Club marina and the Halifax Waterfront marina.

“Millions of people around the world look for the Blue Flag when choosing a beach or marina to visit, and there is a good reason for that,” said Environmental Defence programs director Keith Brooks. “A Blue Flag means that a beach or marina is clean, sustainably managed, and meets high safety standards. It is truly a symbol of excellence.”

The Shediac Bay Yacht Club received its designation this year.

“It is with great honour that the Shediac Bay Yacht Club is the first Blue Flag marina recipient in New Brunswick,” said club commodore Hughes Arseneau. “This certification will further enhance educational programs that will actively promote the importance of protecting our water through best practices and environmental stewardship for all boaters and the public.”

The Blue Flag is administered in Canada by Environmental Defence and is managed internationally by the Foundation for Environmental Education. In Canada, 28 beaches and 12 marinas received the Blue Flag in 2019. More than 4,000 beaches and marinas in 45 countries fly the Blue Flag.