With the summer season starting to kick into gear and the lockdown restrictions easing around the country, there was good news for Mayo this week with the announcement that ten beaches in Mayo have been awarded Blue Flags. Included in that number is Bertra which lost that status last year.
The ten Mayo beaches who have been awarded Blue Flags are: Carrowmore; Clare Island; Mulranny; Dooega; Keel; Keem; Silverstrand - Dugort; Mullaghroe; Elly Bay; Ross-Killala and Bertra.
There were also six Green Coast Awards for Mayo - they were: Tránaun, Inishturk; Termon Beach; Cross, Erris Peninsula; Srah Beach; Rinroe and Portacloy Beach.
The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. The Blue Flag originated in France in 1985 when French coastal local authorities were awarded with the Blue Flag for compliance with sewage treatment and bathing water quality criteria. It was launched as an International programme as part of the "European Year of the Environment in 1987. The programme aims to raise environmental awareness and promote sound environmental management of beaches, marinas and inland bathing waters around the world.
The Green Coast Awards is supported by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and by Fáilte Ireland. The aim of the Green Coast Award is to recognise beaches of high environmental quality. To achieve the award, beaches must have excellent water quality and have effective and appropriate management to ensure the protection of the natural environment. The Green Coast Award aims to acknowledge and promote environmentally sensitive management of beaches. It places a strong emphasis on community involvement and encourages Local Authorities to work together with local communities in the management of sites.