The Netherlands has been granted 195 Blue Flags by the Foundation for Environmental Education. The Blue Flag is an international certification awarded to clean beaches and safe marinas. This year, the recognition was given to 134 marinas and 61 beaches in the Netherlands, an increase of six from last year.
The beaches of Monster and Rockanje in the province of Zuid-Holland and the Elburg marina in Gelderland are among the new recipients. The marina in Terschelling also received the award, standing out as the only location to have received a Blue Flag every year since the award was introduced in 1987.
Erik van Dijk, the Dutch coordinator for the Blue Flag program, highlighted the high quality of Dutch recreational water spots. “Among all Dutch coastal municipalities, only the beaches of The Hague and Katwijk do not have a Blue Flag,” he said. This is attributed to their proximity to the mouth of the Oude Rijn River, which occasionally brings in debris, filth, and trash, a problem that is hard to resolve, van Dijk said.
The Blue Flag award is granted to marinas and beaches that satisfy several criteria, including clean swimming water and good sanitation facilities. The distinction serves as an international symbol of recognition for visitors and tourists, assuring them of safe swimming locations.
The sites are reassessed annually to determine if they continue to meet the necessary standards. The Foundation for Environment, Safety and Quality Certification (KMVK) handles the evaluation.
The Dutch meteorologist and former weather forecaster Helga van Leur presented the awards on Thursday, raising the Blue Flag on the beach at Wassenaarse Slag in the Zuid-Holland province.
Reporting by ANP