One of the main pillars of the Blue Flag programme is environmental and sustainability education. Many initiatives launched by Blue Flag raise awareness of sustainable development in freshwater, marine areas and boats.
In order to challenge local authorities and sites operators to achieve high standards in water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety, Blue Flag fosters environmental education activities through which people gain an all-round locally relevant or placed-based education.
Blue Flag strongly believes that an important way to raise awareness for sustainable and environmental issues is giving equal access for men and women to the teaching for understanding eco-tourism and environmental sectors.
Barefoot Sailing Adventures, a New Zealander Blue Flag Sustainable Tourism Boating Operator, on each trip educates its passengers about the local conservation project, Project Island Song, which aims at restoring ecological balance in the islands of the Eastern Bay of Islands (Ipipiri). These islands have been pest mammal free since 2009, they have had thousands of trees planted, and five rare and endangered species reintroduced. Barefoot Sailing Adventures donates a portion of each ticket sale to the project and recently has been invited to provide input into the Project Island Song 10 year-plan.
CYMEPA, the Blue Flag National Operator in Cyprus, promotes and encourages the participation of local authorities in relevant educational actions and workgroups that have a regional or international dimension. An example of this is the MELTEMI (marine litter transnational legislation enhancement and improvement) two-year project, funded by Interreg Balkan-Mediterranean, with eight partner organisations from four countries, Cyprus, Albania, Bulgaria and Greece. The project aims at enhancing the legal framework and increasing the capacity of public authorities, stakeholders and society in reducing and acting against marine litter pollution.
In Slovenia, Blue Flag often participates in conferences and undertakes environmental education activities with the collaboration of the Eco Schools programme. Summer libraries, where books are lent for free to the beach visitors, are also organised on the Slovenian beaches. This activity is organized by a public Koper City Library in collaboration with the beach operators (or by beach operators themselves) on all the Slovenian coast and it is free for all to use. Sometimes the Library is offering also public book readings for kids and/or presentations of new books, thus contributing to SDG 4.