Monday 17 June 2019

All beaches retain Blue Flag status

Simon Bourke

Tourists and locals alike can look forward to spending their summer at some of the cleanest, safest beaches in the country after all of Wicklow's beaches retained their Blue Flag status for 2019.

An Taisce announced the International Blue Flag and Green Coast Award recipients for 2019 at a ceremony held at The Armada Hotel in Co Clare last week. And Bray South Promenade, Brittas Bay North Beach, Brittas Bay South Beach and Greystones were all included in the prestigious Blue Flag category.

International Blue Flag Director Sophie Bachet Granados, who presented the Blue Flags said, 'The Blue Flag is a symbol of excellence in environmental education, management, water quality, safety and services.'

The Blue Flag programme aims to raise environmental awareness and promote sound environmental management of beaches, marinas and eco-tourism boats around the world. The 80 Irish beaches and eight marinas that have achieved this accolade must adhere to specific criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety and site management.

In addition, Arklow South Beach received a Green Coast Award, which recognises beaches for their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty. Green Coast Award sites are exceptional places to visit and enjoy our rich coastal heritage and diversity

An important aspect of the Green Coast Awards is the involvement of Clean Coasts groups.

Ian Diamond, Coastal Awards Manager for An Taisce, said the Green Coast Award are difficult to come by.

'These awards are not easily achieved and represent a real effort by local authorities in cooperation with Clean Coasts groups to reach the highest standards in water quality and environmentally sensitive beach management. An Taisce would like to acknowledge in particular the dedication of Clean Coasts groups around the coast who give up their time to care for their local beaches throughout the year,' he said.

Wicklow People