The European Environment Agency (EEA) announced in its report released on May 24th 2017, that the waters at beaches across Greece and Crete meet excellent bathing water quality standards. This means they were free from pollutants harmful to human health and the environment. According to the report which covers bathing water locations across Europe, Greece is fourth among the five countries where 95 percent or more bathing waters were assessed as being of “excellent” quality.
“The excellent quality of European bathing water sites is not by chance. It is the result of hard work by dedicated professionals. It shows the importance of nurturing EU policy that promotes green jobs. This year our European Green Week, May 29-June 2, will celebrate this investment. Water technicians, flood protectors, environmental chemists, waste water managers – all play an essential role in keeping bathing water quality high,” said Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. Meanwhile, the highest number of bathing sites with “poor” water quality were found in Italy, France and Spain.
The EEA work is aimed towards aiding Europeans to make better informed choices about the bathing sites they plan to visit this summer. It also shows the effectiveness of our environmental policies. Analyses were conducted on water sampled at more than 21,000 coastal and inland bathing sites across Europe. The report, issued jointly by the EEA and the European Commission, confirms a positive 40-year trend of increasingly cleaner water at beaches and swimming spots across Europe.
Greece, and particularly the beaches in East Crete ranked second place in the world on the 2017 Blue Flag quality award list for beaches and marinas, among 47 countries, the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (EEPF) announced this month, following two special events held at Glyfada beach and the Glyfada Golf Gardens.
The “Blue Flag” is a voluntary eco-label awarded to beaches across the world and is run by the independent, non-profit organisation Foundation for Environmental Education based in Copenhagen. The EEPF is the program’s coordinator for Greece.
A total of 486 beaches and 12 marinas were honoured with the quality “Blue Flag” award in Greece for 2017. Last year 430 Greek beaches and nine marinas were honoured. For the whole of Crete 112 beaches have been awarded. Most of the flags on Crete went to beaches on Lasithi in the East of Crete.
The Blue Flag is awarded to beaches that follow requirements that include Environmental Education and Information, Water Quality, Environmental Management and Safety and Services. This year, which has been named the International Year of Sustainable Tourism Development by the UNWTO, the Blue Flag celebrates its 30th anniversary.
The beaches on Koufonissi are among the best in the world.