THE Balearics will have 72 Blue Flags flying at its beaches and ports this year, 13 more than last summer, it was announced yesterday by the Environmental Education Association which grants the coveted awards, indicating cleanliness, safety and good management. The awards go to 20 municipalities, with 57 Flags going to beaches (six more than last year) and 15 to ports (seven more).
The Association also presents theme awards to municipalities which already have Blue Flags, in recognition of special efforts.
This year in the Balearics, the municipality of Ferreries in Minorca, received the award for its life guard service, while Palma received a similar award for removing architectural barriers and providing facilities for the disabled. The award winning beaches in the Balearics are 20 kilometres long in total, representing 5.2 per cent of the more than 380 kilometres of beaches throughout Spain which have won awards. The total number of beaches with Blue Flags in Spain this year is 478, which is 28 more than last year, and represents one in every seven beaches in the country. The number of ports is 82, 14 more than last year. Valencia and Catalonia have the most Blue Flags, 93 each.
The Flags are awarded by an international jury.