An Taisce – The National Trust for Ireland will hold its annual Blue Flag and Green Coast Award Conference in Dublin, on 5th February. This conference will be attended by coastal Local Authority representatives as well as Blue Flag and Green Coast Award Jury members. It is expected that the devastating impact of recent storms will be discussed at the event.
Speaking about the upcoming conference Annabel FitzGerald, Coastal Programmes Manager, An Taisce said, “There are some serious concerns for some candidate Blue Flag and Green Coast Award beaches that have been left devastated by the recent storms particularly where infrastructure such as access roads, carparks and other amenities have been destroyed.” These are among the 32 imperative criteria required to achieve Blue Flag status.
She added, “Local Authorities work tirelessly during the bathing season to ensure high standards at Ireland’s awarded beaches but there is also a considerable amount of work required in advance of the bathing season as Local Authorities must adhere to strict award application procedures.”
Speakers including Annabel FitzGerald (Coastal Programmes Manager, An Taisce), Bat Masterson (UCD, Blue Flag Juror), Peter Webster (EPA, Blue Flag Juror) will address delegates and lead discussions on issues relating to the Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards ahead of the 2014 bathing season. Crucial award criteria such as water quality, beach infrastructure, lifeguarding and marine litter will be discussed in detail.
Candidate Blue Flag and Green Coast Award applications are currently being prepared to present at the National and International Jury meetings. It is based on the recommendations of these jury meetings that Blue Flags and Green Coast Awards for 2014 will be awarded. It is anticipated that some Blue Flag and Green Coast applications may have to be withdrawn from the process because of the impact of recent storms the full extent of which is not yet known.
Ph: 014002210 or 0876169727
 An Taisce – the National trust for Ireland is the National Operator of the Blue Flag and Green Coast Award programmes in Ireland.
 The Blue Flag is a Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) programme and is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. Beaches and marinas that achieve this accolade must comply with a strict set of criteria relating to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety and beach management. www.blueflagireland.org
 The Green Coast Award is an award for beaches that have excellent water quality but may not have the built infrastructure required for Blue Flag status. There must be a Beach Management Plan in place for the applicant beach and community involvement in the management of the applicant coastal area is key in achieving the award. www.cleancoasts.org