The International Blue Flag and Green Coast Award recipients for 2021 have been announced by the Education Unit of An Taisce. The number of Blue Flags awarded this season set a new record for the Republic of Ireland.
Cork has 12 Blue Flag beaches and marinas for 2021 (mostly in West Cork), a record setting total for the rebel county. In total, Cork has 22 beaches receiving awards in 2021, more than any other county. Inchydoney East is one of only six sites nationally that has received a Blue Flag and a Green Coast Award.
The Warren in Rosscarbery has achieved Blue Flag Status for the first time since 2013. Blue Flag status has been retained at Kinsale Yacht Club.
The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. The programme aims to raise environmental awareness and promote sound environmental management of beaches, marinas and inland bathing waters around the world. The 83 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 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.
Mr. Ian Diamond Coastal Awards Manager for An Taisce speaking at the virtual presentation ceremony said: “I would like to thanks and acknowledge the work of the Local Authorities and marina operators with us today for all their efforts in ensuring that the sites being awarded this year have achieved the excellent standards required by the Blue Flag. I would also like to commend the many thousands of Clean Coasts volunteers who make an invaluable contribution to the protection of Ireland’s coastal environment, not just at the beaches receiving a Green Coast Award today, but all along the coastline and along riversides, canals and lakeshores inland. Without the collaborative approach to beach management demonstrated by Local Authorities and Clean Coasts groups around the country the Green Coast Awards would not be possible”.
Blue Flag beaches in West Cork: Barley Cove; Garretstown; Inchydoney West Beach, Inchydoney East Beach; Owenahincha; Tragumna; The Warren; Garrylucas;
Green Coast awards in West Cork: Sherkin Island, Silver Strand Beach – Sherkin Island Community Group; Ballyrisode – Goleen Community Council; Galley Cove – Goleen Community Council; Rocky Bay – Roberts Cove & Rocky Bay Residents Association; Dooneen Pier – Sheepshead Way Community Group; Red Strand – Ardfield; Inchydoney East – Inchydoney Residents Association; Cadogan’s Strand – Schull Tidy Town & Community Association