Best Practice: Palafrugell municipality in Spain enabling marine life at Posidonia meadows

With more than 570 awarded beaches, Spain is the county with the highest amount of Blue Flag awarded sites worldwide. Three of these beaches belong to the municipality of Palafrugell in Girona. Since 2011 they actively participate in the monitoring of nearby Posidonia meadows, leading to many positive developments for local marine species.

Posidonia is a seagrass that grows in meadows in the Mediterranean Sea. It shelters various species of marine plants and animals, making these meadows an ecosystem with high biodiversity. This seagrass also serves as a nursery for many fish species. Posidonias have strong roots that retain sand and therefore act as a natural barrier protecting the coast from storms.

Parafrugell municipality elaborates maps of the seabed, enabling them to place buoys where they do not harm the Posidonia. In order to additionally protect the meadows, environmentally friendly buoys are promoted. Thanks to these actions, they have observed that some areas of Posidonia meadows have been restored.

The municipality also collaborates with other underwater projects, such as the examination of fan shells (Pina nobilis) populations affected by a parasite. Fan shells are protected molluscs that inhabit Posidonia meadows and their growth depends on a good state of the meadows. Pina nobilis is the biggest mollusc of the Mediterranean and can grow up to a meter.

30 years of Blue Flag in The Netherlands

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In 1987, 1 marina at the Wadden Island of Terschelling and the beaches of Noordwijk, Wadden Island Ameland, Veere and Westenschouwen received the first Blue Flag as the Blue Flag campaign started that year in The Netherlands.

Now, 30 years later, these locations have still Blue Flag, 30 years after each other. But the program increased in the Netherlands to 182 locations. 122 marina's, 8 inland beaches and 52 beaches at the Dutch North Sea coast.

At 18 May the municipality of The Hague hosted the 30st launch of Blue Flag in The Nehterlands. Al the Blue Flags from 1987 to 2017 waved at the pooles on the beach (thanks to the Blue Flag collegues of Portugal). A lot of school children helped to open the 2017 Blue Flag season by digging in the sand of the beach. They found the largest Blue Flag of the world and spread this big flag out over the beach.

The Blue Flag certificates were reached out to the beach and marina managers at the Olympic Top Sailing Centre at the Yachtclub Scheveningen.



The Blue Flag Mediterranean week: Caring for the sea that unites us

Cross Mediterranean countries Blue Flag Beach cleanups week under the international "clean seas" to start between 3-10 July.

13 countries around the Mediterranean are involved in an international campaign for protecting the marine environment "The Blue Flag Mediterranean week".

In the first week of July, beach clean ups will be organized in order to raise awareness in the public for protecting the shore and the marine environment. The initiative started from the idea that environment have no boundaries and the litter that thrown in one side of the Mediterranean will easily reach the other side. The organizations joined the clean up under the slogan "Caring for the sea that unite us"

Stay up to date and check your social networks #BlueFlagMedWeek

"Sun Eco" service station in Lithuania

In the beginning of the bathing season an „Sun Eco" public service station was installed at the 1st Smiltyne beach (Klaipeda region). "Sun Eco“- is a multifunctional mobile device, which uses solar energy.  The following facilities of the station are provided to the beach visitors:
* air compressor for pumping bikes tires and a fan to inflate water toys, water mattresses, game balls;
* charging facility for mobile devices as phones, computers, GPS devices;
* free Wi-Fi internet access;

* "Call“ button for disabled people,  to invite a lifeguard for assistance.

"Sun Eco“ station can be adapted according to the season. The station can be used on the beaches, various popular touristic places, parks, for example, it can be installed during winter time as well, on a sledge on the frozen water pond. If climate conditions allow, station with wind power plant can be also used.