Dec 1, 2011
Flying the Blue Flag
Just because every sea and ocean are blue, doesn’t necessarily mean that every beach is the same colour. Blue Flag status is only granted to the privileged few – a stamp to acknowledge that these beaches are pioneering the way in environmental, educational and service spheres.
Port Alfred’s Kelly’s Beach and Kenton-on-Sea’s Kariega Beach are two such lauded sandy spots, having been granted Blue Flag status earlier this month for yet another season. Only two of 27 South African beaches to be recognised in this way, Kelly’s and Kariega are bastions of the Eastern Cape coastline.
The Blue Flag has been awarded to nearly 4 000 beaches and marinas in 46 countries, and Port Alfred has recently applied to have its famous marina accredited with the same prestigious stamp of excellence, run by an international non-governmental, non-profit organisation called the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
Every time the FEE erects a Blue Flag, it’s making a statement about the quality of that beach’s water, the information provided to visitors, the overall cleanliness of the area, the availability of certain facilities such as dustbins and toilets and the management of things like dogs being allowed onto the beach.
Kelly’s and Kariega beaches have complied to strict criteria so that when you see their blue flags flying you can be assured that your day spent on these beaches will be safe and blissful. You won’t have to wonder about the water quality before diving into the waves, as no industrial or sewage-related discharges are allowed to affect these parts of the ocean. You can also be assured of at least five educational activities being offered, making your time on the beach a learning experience too.
The beach management committee of each area will ensure that there are enough dustbins and that they are emptied on a regular basis, so that no one has an excuse for polluting the ocean. There are even facilities for receiving recyclable waste, adding even more emphasis to the environmental significance of this Blue Flag status.
As for your swimming safety, these beaches come prepared. Lifeguards, lifesaving equipment, drinking water and first-aid kits are always on hand, and patrols of the beach are made regularly, so an eye is always kept on children, both in and out of the water.
Because Green Fountain Farm Resort is a short drive away from both Kelly’s and Kariega, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful beaches. Ching, chong, cha for today’s decision.