20 C
Mossel Bay
19th December 2018
Community & Living Editor's Picks Nature & Nurture Tourism & Travel

2018/19 Blue Flag status awarded to SA’s top beaches, sustainable tourism boats and marinas

66 Blue Flags will be proudly flown at 46 beaches, 8 marinas and by 12 sustainable tourism boats around South Africa over the forthcoming 2018/19 South African Blue Flag season, which opens officially on the 1st of November 2018.

The Western Cape has achieved the highest number of Blue Flag sites, with 30 beaches, 12 boats and seven of the eight Blue Flag marinas. The WESSA Blue Flag Programme, now in its 31st year, is focused on the conservation of marine and coastal habitats, and is designed to raise environmental education and awareness, and increase sound environmental practices among tourists, local populations and beach management.

To achieve Blue Flag status, as many as 33 different criteria spanning over four aspects of coastal management must be met and maintained: water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety and services. Each Blue Flag site is compelled to conduct several environmental education activities during the year, and to practise effective and efficient conservation management.

In South Africa, the Blue Flag programme is managed by WESSA and participating coastal municipalities. In the Southern Hemisphere, the Blue Flag season runs from 1 November to 31 October each year. Beaches are required to apply for Blue Flag status each year and the Blue Flag standards are only enforced at the beaches over the participating beach’s stated season, which varies from just two months of the year to the full 12 months.

The WESSA Blue Flag Programme is operated under the auspices of the Foundation for Environmental Education and is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. The criteria are set by the international coordinators of the Blue Flag campaign in Europe, the FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education). Through close collaboration with their members on all issues, the Foundation for Environmental Education works to ensure the programme’s expansion, and that the unrivalled standards of the Blue Flag are maintained internationally. The detailed criteria and award process is available on Blue Flag’s international website www.blueflag.global

2018/19 Blue Flag Beaches in the Mossel Bay Municipality are Santos, De Bakke, Hartenbos and Klein Brak.

Enjoy a safe swim at these beaches during the coming holidays!

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