Fingal County Council is delighted to welcome the award of a Blue Flag to Velvet Strand Portmarnock for 2020, the 7th year in a row since 2014. Velvet Strand was also awarded a Green Coast Award along with Burrow Beach Sutton. The awards were announced by An Taisce live on Facebook where they announced ninety Blue Flag and sixty Green Coast awards. The Blue Flag is an international award for beach excellence with regard to water quality as well as other criteria including facilities for visitors, beach management and environmental education.
Green Coast awards aim to recognise beaches that have excellent water quality and appropriate management to ensure the protection of the natural environment. They have particular emphasis on community involvement and all beaches must be managed by the local authority in cooperation with local clean coast groups.
Fingal County Council would like to recognise the excellent community involvement that contributed to the achievement of these awards in 2020. Velvet strand Portmarnock is managed by Fingal County Council in cooperation with Portmarnock Community Beach Committee, Portmarnock Community School, Hanrahans, Praxis Day Service, Kilcoskan National School and Scoil Machua. The community groups involved with The Burrow Beach Sutton are Sutton Dinghy Club and Seastainability.
Mayor of Fingal Cllr Eoghan O’Brien welcomed the announcement saying: “The retention of the coveted Blue Flag status for Velvet Strand is fantastic news for Portmarnock residents and visitors who enjoy this stunning local amenity. This award and the Green Coast awards are testament to the excellent work and commitment of Fingal County Council and the local community in relation to the beaches.”
Chief Executive of Fingal County Council AnnMarie Farrelly said: “Our beaches provide an excellent amenity for outdoor recreation and have been particularly enjoyed by local people during the recent good weather and COVID-19 travel restrictions Fingal County Council works across departments and with local partners to maintain and manage them to the highest standard and the awards announced today provide recognition for the efforts of our staff in this regard.”
Ethna Felten Director of Environment and Climate Action said: “I am delighted to see Fingal beaches recognised in these awards. Bathing water quality at Fingal designated beaches is monitored throughout the bathing season. We are delighted that all the samples tested so far this year have returned excellent results. “
David Storey Director of Operations said “Fingal County Council is delighted and proud to be awarded these Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards. Our operations teams will continue to work during the busy summer months to maintain and manage our beaches in an environmentally sustainable manner including keeping them clean and litter free for users. However we need your cooperation in this and remind all beach visitors to bring all rubbish home.
We have erected extensive signage reminding people of 2metre Social Distancing in line with Government COVID-19 guidelines and we would remind people to comply with this when visiting our beaches. We would also remind people to only swim where it is safe and ensure children are supervised at all times.”
For up to date water quality reports for Beaches see www.beaches.ie
The full list of Blue Flag Awards can be found at www.beachawards.ie