Blue Flag Beaches In South Africa
The Foundation for Environmental Education Campaign is a non-profit organization that works towards creating environmental awareness and the impact that humans have on the lives of animals on land and in the sea. They created a Blue Flag project to award countries and specific freshwater and maritime beaches the Blue Flag, which lets visitors to various countries know which authorities comply with the criteria. Countries throughout the Caribbean, Europe, New Zealand and South Africa, all have Blue Flag beaches, and the latest list of Blue Flag beaches in South Africa has recently been announced.
In South Africa there are thirty five beaches that take part in the Blue Flag project, to meet the environmental standards required by the Foundation for Environmental Education Campaign. The Wildlife & Environmental Society of South Africa and the Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism worked together to launch the program in 2001, which has grown in popularity over the years, seeing an increase in municipalities participating. When a beach has been given the Blue Flag status, it assures visitors that the beach is well managed, that it is kept clean and that it is safe for beach goers to use.
This year, nineteen beaches in South Africa have been awarded the Blue Flag status for the coming year, while those who have room to improve, will be working hard to receive this status before the 2010 World Cup. The beaches that have been given Blue Flags are: Humewood Beach, King’s Beach, Hobie Beach and Wells Estate in Port Elizabeth; Dolphin Beach in Jeffrey’s Bay; Hawston Beach and Grotto Beach in Hermanus; Lappiesbaai Beach in Stilbaai; Camps Bay Beach, Mnandi Beach, Standfontein Beach, Clifton 4th Beach and Muizenberg Beach in Cape Town; Bikini Beach in Gordon’s Bay; Kelly’s Beach in Port Alfred; Margate Beach, Marina Beach, Ramsgate Main Beach and Hibberdene Beach.
Even though some beaches sustained damage due to high seas and natural events, none of the municipalities have been dissuaded from creating clean beaches and working towards their Blue Flag status. The pilot beaches that narrowly missed receiving their status are more determined than ever to comply with the standards set by the program to ensure that Blue Flags will soon fly over their sands as well. The Blue Flag program has been adopted by almost all the municipalities along the South African coast, showing their support in creating environmentally friendly beaches for locals and international visitors to enjoy.