Puerto Vallarta Seeks More Blue Flag Beach Certifications
Published Jun 3, 2014, 3:12pm -
Puerto Vallarta Mayor Ramón Guerrero Martínez recently announced—after Palmares Beach was recently awarded the Blue Flag—that two additional beaches (Holi and Mismaloya) are being readied for certification. “We hope to become the Mexican municipality with most certified beaches,” he commented in a recent public address.
The Blue Flag (blueflag.org) is a voluntary eco-label awarded to more than 4000 beaches and marinas in 48 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, North America and the Caribbean. The concept was born in France. In 1985, French coastal municipalities were awarded with the Blue Flag for complying with sewage treatment and bathing water quality criteria. Two years later, the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe presented the Frech model to the European Commission and the Blue Flag Program was launched. That same year, the Blue Flag was awarded to 244 beaches and 208 marinas in ten European countries. Certification lasts for a year, after which judges must re-visit each location to ensure that the criteria is met.
Beaches are awarded the Blue Flag based on compliance with 32 points, organized in four primary categories: Environmental Education and Information, Water Quality, Environmental Management, and Safety and Services. The organization provides tools and resources for Blue Flag beaches to promote the principles behind the award.
Less than 10 beaches in all of Mexico have received the Blue Flag. In Banderas Bay, two beaches have received the award: Nuevo Vallarta Beach through the period of June 2013 - June 2014, and Palmares Beach, south of Puerto Vallarta, from July 2014 - 2015. It is important to emphasize that many beaches in Banderas Bay that have not received this important award are fit for swimming and recreation, welcoming thousands of visitors every year. For a guide to Banderas Bay beaches, please click here.