Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels for beaches, marinas and boats. The mission of the programme is to promote environmental education, sustainable development of tourism, environmental management systems and ensure safety and access for beach users.
- The National Trust for Ireland operate the programme on behalf of FEE in Ireland. The Blue Flag programme is funded in Ireland by the Department of the Housing, Planning & Local Government.
- In order to qualify for this prestigious award, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety-related and access-related criteria must be met and maintained. At beaches, the bathing water must comply with the excellent standard in accordance with the 2006 EU Bathing Water Directive.
- Blue Flag began in Ireland in 1988 with 19 beaches and 2 marinas being warded. Since then the Blue Flag Programme has grown from strength to strength with 83 beaches and 7 marinas being awarded in 2018.
- Each year Blue Flag is awarded to over 4500 beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators in 49 countries globally. The awarded sites for Ireland for 2019 will be announced at the end of May.