Coast KZN

20 Oct 2018

Westbrook one of nine KZN beaches to receive Blue Flag status

Amy Jenkins (North Coast Courier) Picture: Westbrook beach has been awarded Blue Flag status.

An additional six north coast beaches were awarded a pilot Blue Flag status.

The Dolphin Coast is famous for its beautiful coastline and attractive beaches, however only one beach has managed to land a spot on the recently released list of Blue Flag beaches in KZN.

A total of seven beaches in the Ray Nkonyeni District to the south of the province, and two beaches in the eThekwini Municipality were given Blue Flag status for the 2018/19 season, including Westbrook.

In order for a beach to be awarded this prestigious status it must meet a set of stringent criteria set by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) and Blue Flag.

This includes water quality, environmental, management, safety and security, environmental education and information.

The beaches that received Blue Flag status are: (Ray Nkonyeni) Marina, Trafalgar, Lucien, Southport, Umzumbe, Hibberdene and Ramsgate. (Ethekwini) Ushaka and Westbrook.

An additional six north coast beaches were awarded a pilot Blue Flag status.

These include Blythedale, Salt Rock, Willard, Tinley Manor, Dokodweni South and Tugela Mouth.

Pilot Blue Flag beaches are working towards meeting the minimum requirements for Blue Flag status in safety, amenities, cleanliness and environmental standards.

The Dolphin Coast boasts warm water, soft sandy beaches and dense coastal forests.

The MEC for economic development, tourism and environmental affairs, Sihle Zikalala, has welcomed the awarding of Blue Flag status as a much-needed positive boom for the province’s tourism prospects.

“For nine beaches in KZN to make the cut is ample proof that our strategy of enhancing the status of our province as a world class tourism destination that upholds the highest standards is paying the dividends,” said Zikalala.

Zikalala added that the province would continue to upgrade and maintain its beach recreational facilities and maintain the highest environmental standards in order to meet and even surpass the Blue Flag standards.

“Being awarded a Blue Flag status beach means that we are all playing our part towards protecting our environment from pollution and man-made degradation whilst simultaneously ensuring that we do not compromise on our reputation as the most preferred domestic tourism destination.

“Looking ahead, we now want to ensure that we expand our Blue Flag beaches by converting the status of those beaches that have been identified as pilot sites.”

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