A world-renowned award trusted by millions around the globe the Blue Flag programme is operated in Ireland by An Taisce-The National Trust for Ireland on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). Beaches and marinas that achieve this accolade must comply with a specific sets 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, Local Government and Heritage.
The Green Coast Award is to recognise beaches of high environmental quality. The award is for beaches which have excellent water quality, but which are also prized for their natural, unspoilt environment. Applicant sites must be managed in partnership with the local community to be considered for the Green Coast Award. The programme is supported by the Department of the Housing, Local Government and Heritage.