The International Blue Flag Jury meeting took place on 5 September 2018, roughly a year after Hurricane Maria violently hit Puerto Rico and Hurricanes Irma and Jose devastated the Caribbean Islands and parts of the USA in September 2017. Among the countries proudly flying the Blue Flag in the region, Sint Maarten and the US Virgin Islands are still working to reestablish the Blue Flag criteria in the wake of the storms.
The International Jury awarded the Blue Flag to 137 sites in the Southern Hemisphere for the 2018-2019 Blue Flag season, including 96 beaches, 19 marinas and 22 boats. As of 2018, the Blue Flag flies over 3,783 beaches, 698 marinas and 77 boats around the world.
The International Blue Flag Jury would like to warmly welcome the return of the United Arab Emirates, who can once again boast Blue Flag awarded sites after two years of absence from the programme.
The full list of awarded sites will be published on 1 November on the International Blue Flag website. Users can employ the website’s new maps and search features to find the Blue Flag awarded sites that perfectly meet their needs.
The next meeting of the International Blue Flag Jury will take place on 9 April 2019 to award beaches, marinas and boats from the Northern Hemisphere.
The International Blue Flag Jury is composed of representatives from the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), International Lifesaving Federation (ILS), the European Environment Agency (EEA), the European Union for Coastal Conservation (EUCC), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA), the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA), the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) and the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). You can find out more about the International Jury members on Blue Flag’s website.
Blue Flag greatly appreciates the support of its sponsor and worldwide flag producer Semaphore, as well as the support of its partner AccessRec, a company that produces a range of products designed to make beaches more accessible to people with disabilities.