The Wildlife & Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) has announced that 66 Blue Flags will be flown at 46 beaches, eight marinas and by 12 sustainable tourism boats around South Africa over the forthcoming 2018/19 Blue Flag season.
Now in its 31st year, the Blue Flag programme is focused on the conservation of marine and coastal habitats, and is designed to raise environmental education and awareness, and increase sound environmental practices among tourists, local populations and beach management.
To achieve Blue Flag status, as many as 33 different criteria spanning four aspects of coastal management must be met and maintained: water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety and services.
Each Blue Flag site is compelled to conduct several environmental education activities during the year, and practise effective and efficient conservation management.
As in previous years, the Western Cape achieved the highest number of sites – with 30 beaches, 12 boats and seven of the eight Blue Flag marinas.
The Eastern Cape has been awarded one Blue Flag Marina site, and retained its seven beaches, while Kwa-Zulu Natal has been awarded nine Blue Flag beaches.
This year 24 beaches across three provinces have been awarded ‘pilot status’ and throughout the 2018/19 Blue Flag season WESSA said it will work with beach managers stewards from these pilot beaches towards the longer-term goal of achieving full Blue Flag status.
You can find the full list of Blue Flag beaches detailed below.