FIVE Waterford beaches have retained their Blue Flag status and six have been confirmed as Green Coast standard.
The Blue Flag is the world’s most recognised eco-label. Beaches and marinas that achieve this accolade must adhere to strict criteria on water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety and site management.
The five winners from Waterford county are Councillors’ Strand, Dunmore East, Tramore, Clonea and Ardmore.
Green Coast awards recognise beaches for their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty. An important aspect of the Green Coast Awards is the management of sites in partnership with local Clean Coasts groups. These volunteers participate in community clean-ups and, in cooperation with local authorities, help manage their local beaches.
The County Waterford winners are Guillamene, Newtown Cove, Annestown, Ballyquin, Curragh and Goat Island.
International Blue Flag Director Sophie Bachet Granados, said the judges had been impressed by the standard of sites.
Rathmullan Marina in Donegal has been awarded a Blue Flag for the first time. Bundoran, in Donegal, and two Mayo beaches, Bertra and Golden Strand, lost their Blue Flags.
Beaches in Cork, Kerry, Louth and Mayo were awarded Green Coast status for the first time. Silverstrand in Mayo lost its Green Coast status.