Blue Flag certifies environmental quality of 32 beach areas and marinas in the Azores
The Autonomous Region of the Azores was awarded by the European Blue Flag international jury with the Blue Flag certificate for 28 beach areas and 4 marinas for the forthcoming summer season.
The Blue Flag is an environmental quality certificate that distinguishes the effort of various entities to improve the marine and costal environment. The certificate is annually awarded to the beach areas, marinas and recreational ports that submit their application and that fulfil environmental, safety, comfort, information and environmental awareness-raising criteria.
In the Summer 2009, the Blue Flag will flying in beach areas of Cinco Ribeiras, Negrito, Silveira, Salga and Prainha, in the municipality of Angra do Heroísmo; Prainha, Praia Grande, Escaleiras, Porto Martins and Biscoitos, in the municipality of Praia da Vitória; Almoxarife and Varadouro, in the municipality of Horta; Porto da Caloura and Lagoa Beach Area, in the municipality of Lagoa; Milícias, Pópulo, Poças Sul dos Moteiros and Poços de São Vicente; in the municipality of Ponta Delgada; Areal de Santa Bárbara, in the municipality of Ribeira Grande; Vinha d’Areia, Prainha de Água d’Alto, Corpo Santo and Água d’Alto, in the municipality of Vila Franca do Campo; Preguiça, in the municipality of Velas; Maia, São Lourenço, Formosa and Anjos, in the municiplity of Vila do Porto.
With to regard to recreational ports, the marinas of Horta, Pêro de Teive, Angra do Heroísmo and Praia da Vitória were awarded with the Blue Flag.
The Blue Flag is awarded taking into account a set of demanding criteria, most of which are mandatory, being grouped in four fundamental chapters: water quality, environmental information and education, environmental management, safety equipments and services.
The Blue Flag was awarded to the Autonomous Region of the Azores for the first time in 1988 with three flags, reaching the highest number of awarded flags this year.
The highest number of flags was the result of applications of two new beach areas, Poças Sul dos Mosteiros and Poços São Vicente Ferreira; both are located in the municipality of Ponta Delgada, and other three re-entries, such as Porto da Caloura, in the municipality of Lagoa, Preguiça, in the municipality of Velas and Anjos, in the municipality of Vila do Porto.