Hogan welcomes increase in beach quality awards for 2014

Published on Wednesday, 04 Jun 2014

Hogan welcomes increase in beach quality awards for 2014

04/06/14

Mr Phil Hogan T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, today (4 June 2014) welcomed the presentation of 134 beach awards, an increase of 15 on the 2013 number.

Presenting the Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards at a ceremony in Skerries, Co. Dublin, the Minister expressed satisfaction with the awarding of 80 Blue Flags (76 beaches and 4 marinas) this year. This was an increase of 6 over the 2013 number. Minister Hogan noted that the number could have been higher but for the destruction caused by the winter storms.

‘I am pleased to say that a total of 134 beach awards will be made today. This represents an increase of 15 on the 2013 awards and is testament to the sterling efforts of communities, local authorities and An Taisce. Results might even have been better except for the devastation of the storms last winter which caused significant damage in some areas’, the Minister said
  
The Minister went on to say that Blue Flags represent excellence and are internationally recognised. ‘The Blue Flag is a clear signal of quality. I am delighted to announce that today we will be awarding a total of 80 Blue Flags, for locations that have achieved excellent water quality and a very high standard across a wide range of other criteria, including environmental education, management of the environment, safety and other services’. 

Minister Hogan also stated that ‘Behind each of the 80 recipients lies a team of people who worked hard to make the grade and to each and every one of them I extend my sincere congratulations. 

54 Green Coast Awards were presented for 2014.  This represents an increase of 9 on the 2013 number. ‘These recognise excellence in environmental standards and sustainable management.  They generally apply to beaches which do not have the full suite of facilities associated with the Blue Flag.  Although visitor numbers to these beaches may not be as high, it is nevertheless important for the environment, the local community and tourists alike that these beaches also achieve high standards’.

An important aspect of the Green Coast Awards is the involvement of Coastcare Volunteer Groups. There are now over 400 active Coastcare groups established throughout the island.  The Minister paid tribute to the work of these groups stating that ‘Ireland has over 5,000 kilometres of coastline and coast community groups provide an invaluable contribution to the protection and enhancement of the coastal resource’.

Recipients today should be enormously proud of their efforts in achieving these hard won awards, the Minister concluded.

ENDS

List of Awards Recipients here.

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