Greek beaches and marinas ranked second in 2012 Blue Flag awards!

Posted: July 6, 2012 by acerentacargreece in Uncategorized
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For 2012, 394 beaches and 9 marinas were awarded the blue flag this year in Greece. The “Blue Flags” program is an international effort made by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). The Blue Flag works towards sustainable development of beaches and marinas through strict criteria dealing with Water Quality, Environmental Education and Information, Environmental Management, and Safety and Other Services. In addition to sewage treatment and bathing water quality, criteria for obtaining a Blue Flag on a European level included other areas of environmental management, such as waste management and coastal planning and protection. Marinas are also eligible for the award. With the expansion of the program, the criteria have become more rigorous and unified.

Therefore, if you’re curious as to why some of the most amazing beaches you know don’t have blue flags, know that it’s probably because no mayor applied for a blue flag for this beach. So, of course there are lots of beaches around the country that are breathtaking (a big example is Porto Katsiki and Kathisma in Lefkada), but no one bothered to apply so they can receive a blue flag.

In any case, for those beaches that do apply for a blue flag, there are four different areas on which they are tested:

Beaches
1) Environmental Education and Information
• Information about the Blue Flag must be displayed.
• Environmental education activities must be offered and promoted to beach users.
• Information about bathing water quality must be displayed.
• Information relating to local eco-systems and environmental phenomena must be displayed.
• A map of the beach indicating different facilities must be displayed.
• A code of conduct that reflects appropriate laws governing the use of the beach and surrounding areas must be displayed.

2) Water Quality
• The beach must fully comply with the water quality sampling and frequency requirements.
• The beach must fully comply with the standards and requirements for water quality analysis.
• No industrial, waste-water or sewage-related discharges should affect the beach area.
• The beach must comply with the Blue Flag requirements for the microbiological parameter faecal coli bacteria (E.coli) and intestinal enterococci/streptococci.
• The beach must comply with the Blue Flag requirements for physical and chemical parameters.

3) Environmental Management
• The local authority/beach operator should establish a beach management committee.
• The local authority/beach operator must comply with all regulations affecting the location and operation of the beach.
• The beach must be clean.
• Algae vegetation or natural debris should be left on the beach.
• Waste disposal bins/containers must be available at the beach in adequate numbers and they must be regularly maintained.
• Facilities for the separation of recyclable waste materials should be available at the beach.
• An adequate number of toilet or restroom facilities must be provided.
• The toilet or restroom facilities must be kept clean.
• The toilet or restroom facilities must have controlled sewage disposal.
There should be no unauthorized camping, driving or dumping of waste on the beach. Access to the beach by dogs and other domestic animals must be strictly controlled.
• All buildings and beach equipment must be properly maintained.
• Coral reefs in the vicinity of the beach must be monitored.
• A sustainable means of transportation should be promoted in the beach area.

4) Safety and Services
• An adequate number of lifeguards and/or lifesaving equipment must be available at the beach.
• First aid equipment must be available on the beach.
• Emergency plans to cope with pollution risks must be in place.
• There must be management of beach users and events to prevent conflicts and accidents.
• There must be safety measures in place to protect beach users.
• A supply of drinking water should be available at the beach.
• At least one Blue Flag beach in each municipality must have wheelchair and accessibility features.
• Wheelchair access and accessibility features must be in place for at least one Blue Flag beach in each municipality.

A full list of Greece’s Blue Flag beaches can be found HERE http://www.blueflag.org/Menu/Awarded+sites/2012/Northern+Hemisphere/Greece/List/Beaches

A full list of Greece’s Blue Flag beaches can be found HERE
http://www.blueflag.org/Menu/Awarded+sites/2012/Northern+Hemisphere/Greece/List/Marinas

In Greece the coordinator of the program is the Greek Organization for the Protection of Nature (Ελληνική Εταιρεία Προστασίας της Φύσης) and a list of the beaches awarded for 2012 is provided below. Greece comes in 2nd place this year in the number of beaches that were awarded. The beaches or marinas that want to receive a blue flag must be tested every year. So get the Mayor to apply for the award!

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