Beach certification schemes, such as Blue Flag, have become prevalent in the current literature as a beach management tool that is said to bridge the gap between recreation and conservation. There has been limited research done to determine if Blue Flag is actually being successfully used as a tool for environmental protection. This study investigates the effectiveness of Blue Flag as a management tool for environmental protection in Ontario. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with beach managers along the shoreline of the Great Lakes who represent a municipality involved in the Blue Flag program. The key findings of this research reveal that currently Blue Flag is not being used as an effective beach management tool for environmental protection. This study provides indication that beach managers do not think that municipalities adopting Blue Flag will have a direct impact on improving the health and protection of the Great Lakes.