Kvarner newsletter / no 17

The Blue Flag
The symbol for water quality and environmental management on forty locations

Of the total of 115 beaches and approximately twenty marinas in Croatia to be awarded the Blue Flag for this year, almost forty are located in the Kvarner area. The Blue Flag is an international eco-label that stands for water quality and environmental management.

The list of Blue Flag beaches includes 35 beaches in Lovran, Opatija, several destinations on the islands of Krk, Cres, Lošinj and Rab, as well as in Crikvenica, Selce and Novi Vinodolski. Marinas in Punat on the island of Krk and in Opatija have also been awarded Blue Flags.
The Blue Flag for beaches and marinas is an international programme aimed at water and coast protection whose main goal is sustainable development and management of the sea and the coastal zones. For many visitors, the Blue Flag is an important criterion when choosing a destination. In Croatia, the candidature according to international criteria is coordinated by the Lijepa Naša Association. The Blue Flag programme is owned and run by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) from Copenhagen (Denmark).
The criteria for awarding the international Blue Flag for beaches include compliance with the standards for excellent bathing water quality and availability of information about the Blue Flag Programme, bathing water quality and code of conduct. In addition, the beach must offer a minimum of five environmental education activities, comply with all regulations regarding hygiene and ecology, provide necessary facilities, must be patrolled and fulfil a number of other criteria concerning safety of bathers. Also, there must be an emergency plan to cope with pollution safety risks. A supply of potable drinking water must be available on the beach, and a minimum of one Blue Flag beach in each municipality must have access and sanitary facilities for people with disabilities.