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Blue Flags 2018 Reach Record Number As Irish Beaches Given Awards

22nd May 2018
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A Blue Flag standard is an international award which recognises outstanding compliance with bathing water quality and sewage treatment regulation. Above: Killiney Beach, Co. Dublin which lost its Blue Flag status last year, failed to regain in 2018. In the backdrop is Whiterock Beach, Dalkey. A Blue Flag standard is an international award which recognises outstanding compliance with bathing water quality and sewage treatment regulation. Above: Killiney Beach, Co. Dublin which lost its Blue Flag status last year, failed to regain in 2018. In the backdrop is Whiterock Beach, Dalkey. Photo: Jehan Ashmore

#CoastalNotes - Blue flags have reached a record total in those awarded to Irish beaches and marinas for 2018 by An Taisce environmental group.

The 83 Irish beaches and seven marinas writes The Irish Times, that have achieved the accolade must adhere to specific criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety and site management – and comply with bathing water regulations considerably above minimum EU standards.

The number of sites receiving the blue flag is up two on last year’s total.

Carne in Co Wexford has achieved Blue Flag Status for the first time ever this year, while Ardmore in Co Waterford has been awarded for the flag first time since 1997 following the completion of a new wastewater treatment plant in the area during 2016.

All beaches and marinas awarded in 2017 retained blue flag status for 2018. Killiney and Donabate beaches in Co Dublin lost their blue flags in 2017 and did not regain them in 2018 due to their current bathing water classification by the EPA. See related story, on Dublin and Galway beaches that failed to meet EU minimum standards. 

For a map giving location and a list of awarded Blue Flag status beaches click here in addition for more on the story. 

Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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