By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
BALEARIC beaches and ports have been awarded a total of 84 Blue Flags by the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEEE).
The Blue Flag, which is a widely recognised eco-label, is awarded annually to beaches and marinas where environmental protection is a high priority in site management and information encourages care for the environment.

The award of the Blue Flag is presently based on 27 specific criteria for beaches and 16 specific criteria for marinas. Though the specific requirements are different for the two types of sites, they cover the same four aspects: Water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management and safety and services. All Blue Flags are only awarded for one season at a time.

By renewing the award each season the Campaign ensures that the beaches and marinas are constantly living up to the criteria. If some of the imperative criteria are not fulfilled during the season or the conditions change, the Blue Flag will be withdrawn. However, while 10 Blue Flags awarded last year have been withdrawn, 14 new flags have been awarded. So, in total, the Balearics has four more Blue Flags than last year.

The 64 beach Blue Flags awarded to the Balearics represents a 14 percent share of the total number of beaches awarded the flags across Spain while the 20 Blue Flagged-Balearic ports accounts for over a quarter of the national total.

The municipalities with the most number of Blue Flags in the Balearics are Calvia and Manacor with eight each.
In Minorca, Ciutadella has been awarded a total of six, as has Sant Josep de sa Talaia in Ibiza.
Pollensa, in north east Majorca, and Santa Eulalia des Riu in Ibiza, have both been awarded four Blue Flags each.
The Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation consisting of Member organisations representing 25 European countries.

The European Blue Flag was first launched 15 years ago.

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