Life’s a beach: 11 Waterford bathing spots retain their Blue Flag and Green Coast awards
County Waterford’s wonderful beaches this morning proved to be among the best in the country once more, as it was announced that its five Blue Flag beaches and six Green Coast location have all retained their status for 2020.
The Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards were announced by An Taisce this morning and it was a record-breaking year for Irish beaches as two new seaside locations were added to the internationally recognised standard for excellence.
Four county Waterford beaches maintained their exceptionally high standards and were once again awarded Blue Flag designation, these are Councillors Strand in Dunmore East, Dunmore Strand, Tramore Strand, Ardmore Beach and Clonea Strand.
Six Waterford beaches once again retained their Green Coast Awards. These are awarded to locations that have excellent water quality but which may be less developed and less populated than Blue Flag beaches.
The six which can fly the Green Coast flag high are Guillamene Cove and Newtown Cove, both in Tramore; Annestown Beach; Ballyquin Beach, Curragh Beach, and Goat Island Beach – all near Ardmore.
The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. It originated in France in 1985 when French coastal local authorities were awarded the flag for compliance with sewage treatment and bathing water quality criteria and was launched as an International programme as part of the “European Year of the Environment in 1987.
This year has been a record-setting year in regards Irish beaches. In 1988, the first year sites were awarded outside of France, 19 beaches and two marinas received the Blue Flag in Ireland. This year, An Taisce awarded 90 Blue Flags awards, up two on last year’s total.
They also handed out 60 Green Coast awards, This number fell by two this year due to a number of factors that included not being unable to provide fulltime lifeguards due to the Covid-19 outbreak.