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BLUE FLAGGED BEACHES

This summer’s Blue Flags were awarded last month to beaches across Spain, including those in our local area. The accolades are awarded annually by the Association of Environmental and Consumer Education (ADEAC) which carries out annual audits and inspections in those municipalities which request it. Environmental education, water quality, environmental management, safety and service criteria are amongst the criteria assessed before any beach is awarded a Blue Flag.

In Nerja, the beach at Maro is one of the beaches which is flying the flag for the first time this summer. Together with Burriana and Torrecilla beaches, it has created a situation which mayor José Alberto Armijo described as, “a recognition” of the municipality as a reference tourist destination on the Costa del Sol. Beaches councillor María del Carmen López added that being recognised by the ADEAC, “encourages us to continue working with the aim of adding new distinctions which verify the quality of our beaches.”

Along the nine kilometres of the Torrox coastline, Ferrara and El Morche beaches are again flying the Blue Flag this summer. Mayor Óscar Medina acknowledged the maintenance work carried out by the local Beaches Department, especially the recovery and renovation action which were necessary following the storm just before Easter.

In the municipality of Vélez-Málaga, the beaches at Torre del Mar, Benajarafe, and the Caleta de Vélez marina have all had the Blue Flag renewed this season. The Deputy Mayor and Councillor for Beaches, Jesús Pérez Atencia, said that the distinction, “maintains our municipality as a national benchmark in terms of beaches.”

Andalucía has increased its total number of Blue Flag beaches from 115 last year to 121 this summer, while Spain has retained its position as the nation which boasts the highest number in the world. They are flying at a total of 621 beaches and 103 marinas, plus five tourist boats in 250 Spanish municipalities.

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