County Clare beaches retain Blue Flag Status and Green Coast Awards for 2022
All nine Blue Flag beaches managed by Clare County Council have retained their Blue Flag Status for the 2022 bathing season.
Kilrush Marina also retains the Blue Flag status which it was awarded last year, while the four Clare beaches that received the Green Coast Award in 2021 have also retained the award for the coming season.
Last Friday, An Taisce announced the International Blue Flag and Green Coast Award recipients for 2022. The awards were presented by Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage and Electoral Reform at a ceremony Curracloe Beach in County Wexford.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Minister Noonan stated that: “This year celebrates 35 years of the Blue Flag as an international programme and during that time the Blue Flag has become an internationally recognised symbol of high standards in water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety. I am pleased to be presenting 95 blue flags and 62 green coast awards today and want to commend the great efforts made by local authorities, An Taisce, coastal communities and volunteers for their work around the country.
Ian Diamond, Coastal Awards Manager, An Taisce, in announcing this year’s Blue Flag and Green Coast Award recipients, stated: “We were delighted to be welcomed to the Sunny Southeast today for the opportunity to celebrate the beaches and marinas awarded for the 2022 season. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to manage a beach or marina to the excellent standards required by these award programmes. It’s been too long since we’ve had the opportunity to acknowledge these efforts in person, and I would like to thank all in attendance and our hosts Wexford County Council for helping us make today’s event worth the wait”.
The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. Originating in France in 1985 it was launched as an international programme as part of the “European Year of the Environment in 1987. In 1988, the first year sites were awarded outside of France 19 beaches and 2 marinas received the Blue Flag in Ireland. 2022 is the 35th year that beaches and marinas have been awarded here in Ireland and the 95 beaches and marinas being awarded is the highest annual total to date.
The programme aims to raise environmental awareness and promote sound environmental management of beaches, marinas, and eco-tourism boats around the world. The 85 Irish beaches and 10 marinas that have achieved this accolade must adhere to specific criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety, and site management.
The Green Coast Awards were presented back in 2003 to four beaches in County Wexford, then the award was rolled out nationally in 2008 and has gone from strength to strength ever since. The award recognises beaches for their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty. An important aspect of the Green Coast Awards is the involvement of Clean Coasts groups in the management of awarded sites.
Blue Flag Marina
Blue Flag Beaches
Ballycuggeran; Cappagh Pier, Kilrush; Fanore; Kilkee; Lahinch; Mountshannon; Spanish Point; White Strand Doonbeg; and White Strand Miltown Malbay
Green Coast Awards
Ballyalla Lake Ennis (Ballyalla Blue Flag Working Group)
Bishops Quarter (Ballyvaughan Tidy Towns)
Carrigaholt Beach (Carrigaholt Tidy Towns and Carrigaholt Development Association)
Seafield (Quilty Clean Coast)
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