Below is a map of Mayo's Beaches, 10 of which are Blue Flag certified.
The 27th anniversary of the Blue Flag Awards which began in France in 1987 took place on 4th June, 2014 on Skerries South Beach, Skerries with the Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government, Mr Phil Hogan, TD presenting a total of 134 awards for Blue Flags and Green Coasts.
Of the 80 Blue Flags and 54 Green Coasts awarded, Mayo has received 10 Blue Flags for the following beaches:
Elly Bay Mullaghroe Golden Strand Clare Island
Dugort Keel Carrowmore Dooega
with the 9 Green Coasts awarded to:
White Strand Carrowniskey Cross, Belmullet
Termon Srah Portacloy Cross, Louisburgh
Silver Strand, Ballycastle
This represents an increase of 2 Green Coast awards from 2013.
Bertra Beach and Mulranny Beach, both of which were significantly damaged by the winter storms had to be withdrawn from inclusion in Blue Flag programme for this season. While both beaches meet bathing water quality and most of the other Blue Flag criteria it was not possible to meet all the criteria require for Blue Flag status at the commencement of the current bathing season on the 1st June.
Both Bertra and Mulranny Beaches will be maintained and serviced to Blue Flag status throughout the bathing season and will be eligible for inclusion in the 2015 Blue Flag programme.
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
(c) Safety & Services
(d) Environmental Management & Facilities
Green Coast Background
The Green Coast Award which is a relatively new national beach 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.
Beach Bye Laws for Mayo
Mayo County Council
Phone: (094) 9047440
Open: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.