Dolphin Beach at Jeffreys Bay is one of only six beaches across the Eastern Cape to have been awarded international Blue Flag status ahead of the 2019/2020 summer season.
Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor, Daniel Benson, and the municipality’s Parks and Community Amenities Manager, Frank Tamboer, received the flag on behalf of the municipality at a function in Cape Town last week.
“We are very proud to have retained Blue Flag status for Dolphin Beach, as it confirms that Kouga is a holiday destination of international standard,” said Benson.
He said pilot Blue Flag status was also awarded to the Cape St Francis Beach.
“Certain improvements, including upgraded ablution facilities and proper beach access, are necessary before the beach qualifies for Blue Flag status.
“The municipality will be working with the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Working for the Coast teams to bring these improvements to fruition.”
A total of forty-five beaches, nine marinas and 10 tourism boats in total were awarded Blue Flag status across South Africa.
Benson congratulated the St Francis Marina for being among the nine marinas countrywide to have achieved Blue Flag status.
“The Blue Flag is an eco-label and forms part of Kouga’s commitment to go green,” he said.
“Kouga was recently placed second in the Eastern Cape Greenest Municipality awards and we are pleased to be able to build on our eco-achievements.
“The Blue Flag programme focuses on the conservation of marine and coastal habitats and is designed to raise environmental awareness and increase sound eco-practices among locals, visitors, beach managers and staff.”
Applications for the Blue Flag are reviewed annually by a South African and international jury panel.
To achieve the status as many as 33 criteria, spanning over four areas of coastal management, must be maintained.
The four areas are water quality, environmental education information, environmental management and safety services.
It is managed by the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (Wessa), the implementing partner of the programme for the national Department of Tourism.
The 2019/2020 Blue Flag season runs from November 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020.
Photo: Jeffreys Bay Surf School