The Blue Flag is operated in Ireland by An Taisce-The National Trust for Ireland on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. Beaches and marinas that achieve this accolade must comply with a specific set of criteria relating to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety and beach management. At beaches, the bathing water must comply with the excellent standard in accordance with the 2006 EU Bathing Water Directive. The Blue Flag programme is funded in Ireland by the Department of the Housing, Planning & Local Government.


The Green Coast Awards were originally part of an inter-reg funded project between Wales and the South East. With support from the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government the programme was expanded nationwide and is also sponsored by Fáilte Ireland and Coca-Cola. 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.