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Did your local beach get a Blue Flag this year? Here's the full list

Kerry tops the list with the most Blue Flags.

Farrah Culhane (3) at Seapoint, Co Dublin which has retained its Blue Flag status.
Farrah Culhane (3) at Seapoint, Co Dublin which has retained its Blue Flag status.
Image: Naoise Culhane

A RECORD NUMBER of Blue Flags have been awarded this year, with Kerry topping the list again with 14.

83 beaches and seven marinas were awarded Blue Flags, an increase of two since 2017, An Taisce announced today.

Donegal came in just behind Kerry with 13 Blue Flags, followed closely by Mayo with 12.

The counties with the fewest flags were Sligo with one and Dublin with only two.

When the first awards were presented in 1988 only 21 flags were awarded.

Beaches that receive this accolade adhere to specific criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety and site management.

The Blue Flag will be raised for the first time at Carne in County Wexford and at Ardmore in County Waterford for the first time since 1997.

PastedImage-5440 Blue Flag map 2018. Source: An Taisce

Click here for a larger version of this map

An Taisce announced the International Blue Flag and Green Coast Award recipients for 2018 at The Martello Hotel in Bray, County Wicklow.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ian Diamond Coastal Awards Manager for An Taisce said:

The Blue Flag is an award of excellence. The beaches and marinas that have achieved this accolade today have complied with strict criteria relating to water quality, safety, facilities for visitors, beach management, environmental education and the provision of information.

Cork, the most awarded county

59 Green Coast awards were also presented, two fewer than 2017.

The Green Coast awards focus on community involvement and encourage local authorities to work together with local communities in the management of sites.

Cork received 13  Green Coast Awards, making it the most awarded county this year, with nine blue flags awarded also.

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Having not met the excellent water quality standard required, Mornington in Meath, Port Arthur in Donegal, Waterville Town Beach in Kerry and Kilfarrassey in Waterford, did not receive a Green Coast Award for 2018.

To achieve the award, beaches must also have excellent water quality and have effective and appropriate management to ensure the protection of the natural environment.

Only beaches that meet the excellent standard for both E. Coli and Intestinal Enterococci parameters are eligible for the award.

Diamond praised an important aspect of the Green Coast Awards, the involvement of Clean Coasts groups, of which there are now over 600, made up of thousands of volunteers throughout the country.

Clean Coasts groups contribute significantly to the protection of Ireland’s coastal environment, over the past year these groups removed over 750 tonnes of litter from our coastline.

”Local Authorities, marina operators and local communities should be commended for their efforts in achieving Blue Flag and Green Coast award status today,” Diamond concluded.

About the author:

Adam Daly

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