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Leisure & Amenities: Beaches and Green Coasts

Clean Coasts Programme

Clean Coasts’ Big Beach Clean 2015

Join the world’s largest coastal cleanup


Clean Coasts’ Big Beach Clean is taking place on the weekend of the 18th, 19th & 20th of September all over Ireland. Clean Coasts is once again teaming up with the International Ocean Conservancy for the International Coastal Cleanup event. Last year 560,000 volunteers in 91 countries removed 7,257 tonnes of marine litter from the world's oceans.  

 Each year millions of tonnes of marine litter enter our seas and oceans, resulting in environmental, economic, health and aesthetic challenges.  Clean Coasts are inviting volunteers to join this global coastal clean-up helping remove marine litter from our beautiful coastline and in turn protecting our coastal habitats and marine life.

103 clean-ups took place in Ireland during the 2014 Big Beach Clean, involving 1,442 volunteers who removed an amazing 33,442 pieces of litter.

For more information on the Clean Coasts programme please check out our website:






Mayo's Beaches

Below is a map of Mayo's Beaches, 10 of which are Blue Flag certified.

A map highlighting 14 of Mayo's beaches. Use links below to learn more.

Clare Island Elly Bay Ross Mullaghroe Golden Strand Mulranny Dooega Betra Old Head Doogort Keel Carrowmore

Blue Flag Beaches in County Mayo for 2015

The 28th anniversary of the Blue Flag Awards which began in France in 1987 took place on 28th May, 2015 on Ballinskelligs Beach in Co. Kerry with the Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government, Mr Alan Kelly, TD presenting a total of 144 awards for Blue Flags and Green Coasts.

Of the 86 Blue Flags and 58 Green Coasts awarded, Mayo has received 12 Blue Flags for the following beaches:

Elly Bay          Mullaghroe                 Golden Strand            Clare Island

Dugort            Keel                            Carrowmore                Dooega                     

Keem              Ross                             Bertra                         Mulranny

with the 8 Green Coasts awarded to:

 White Strand              Carrowniskey         Cross, Belmullet

Termon                        Srah                        Portacloy             Cross, Louisburgh         

Silver Strand,             

Blue Flag Background

The Blue Flag scheme for beaches has been one of the main drivers for better quality bathing waters over the last 27 years because it provides an instantly recognisable badge of high status for beaches. The campaign which flies in 46 countries worldwide aims to raise awareness and promote good environmental behaviour among visitors to the beaches and best practice among beach and marina management and staff.

The criteria required to attain Blue Flag status are designed to work with the legislation in each country. This ensures that the legislation is being followed, or in some cases, the Blue Flag sets a higher benchmark than that which already exists.  The Blue Flag inIrelandis administered by An Taisce on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education (F.E.E.).

An application for each beach must be made every year by the authority managing the beach. An international jury then decides if the beach merits the award which is decided upon by meeting the following criteria:-

(a) Water Quality

(b) Environmental Information and education

(c) Safety and Services

(d) Environmental management

(a)  Water Quality

Water sampling for this season commenced on 26th May, 2014. Sampling will continue each week over the bathing season which runs from the beginning of June to the end August. The results are publicised  on the notice boards situated at each beach. 

 (b)  Environmental Education & Information

  • A brochure with information on our Blue Flag and Green Coast Award Beaches is distributed
  • A clean coast photography competition is organised annually.
  • The Council’s website and library display is a good starting point to find out more about our beaches.
  • Designated cycle loops taking in Achill beaches with a National Loop Walk in Mulranny and ClareIsland.
  • The notice boards on each beach are updated weekly during the bathing season.
  • Awareness promoted through radio slots.

 (c)  Safety & Services

  • Where lifeguards are provided, they are on duty from 12:00 hrs to 18:30 hrs each day during July and August and at weekends in June.
  • Ringbuoys and water safety equipment are inspected each day by lifeguards on duty.

 (d)  Environmental Management & Facilities

  • Our beaches are governed by beach bye-laws that came into effect in 2008.
  • Permits must be sought from the Council prior to selling/offering tuition on beaches
  • Toilet, recycling and poop scoop facilities are available at all Blue Flag beaches with arrangements for litter control in place at all beaches.

Green Coast Background

The Green Coast Award acknowledges beaches which meet EC bathing water quality standards, but which are also prized for their natural, unspoiled environment. A "natural, unspoilt environment" means that the special character of such a beach may not be compatible with the level of infrastructure and intensive management generally associated with more urban, traditional seaside resort beaches. Green Coast Award beaches demonstrate clean water and sound environmental management

The Award is objective-led, which encourages 'best practice' in management of rural beaches and emphasises community involvement in their management.

Clean Coasts is a coastal environmental programme where voluntary ‘Coastcare groups’ organise coastal clean ups, eliminate ‘eyesores’, improve facilities, report incidents and tackle environmental problems both small and large. These groups along with this Council manage stretches of Co. Mayo coastline very efficiently.


The Green Coast Award, rolled out in 2008 is designed to complement the Blue Flag programme.  Clean Coasts is a coastal environmental programme, where voluntary 'Coastcare groups' organise coastal clean ups, eliminate 'eyesores' and report incidents.



Mayo's Beaches:

Beach Bye Laws (Document)

Beach Bye Laws for Mayo
Formats Available:

Mayo Beaches

Environment Section
Second Floor
Mayo County Council
The Mall
Co Mayo
Phone: (094) 9047440
Open: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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