The Blue Flag program, a world-renowned eco-label trusted by millions around the globe, was awarded to West Grand Beach this year. According to their website blueflag.global, the Blue Flag represents a serious and profound commitment to both people and the environment and awards are given each year to beaches and marinas certified as clean, safe, and sustainably managed.
As Manitobans, we all have a special connection to water and with that comes the responsibility to be good stewards of our resources. It is not without awareness and education that the people of Manitoba have been able to make the change we needed to better protect our way of life on and off the water. Just like in all other instances when Manitobans are called to action, we accept the responsibility. Our tradition of caring for what we have been given is strong and it was recognized that we needed to step up our game in order to protect our water resources and our economy.
Lake Winnipeg is one of ten largest freshwater lakes in the world and provides not only an amazing way to recreate, but a way to feed and water our families while growing our economy. In Manitoba, water-related economic development sees contributions of $21 million annually from the fishing industry, while agriculture contributes to $1.6 billion and Manitoba Hydro comes in responsible for $2.1 billion a year.
Even after being awarded such a significant award such as the Blue Flag, there remains a public understanding that our work as global citizens is far from over. Inherently, we all want to do the right thing. We have always been able to solve problems and in order to solve the issue of deteriorating freshwater quality, we must continue to behave responsibly and remain focused on our mission to increase stewardship resulting in our collective security.
As we welcome another summer season in Southern Manitoba, you might be asking how you can do your part. For more information, please visit Lake Friendly and have a wonderful start to your summer season!