A total of 28 beaches and two marinas will hoist this summer the international Blue Flag label, awarded by the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, chaired by Princess Lalla Hasnaa, and the International Foundation for Education in the environment (FEE).
Two new beaches appear in the labeled beaches: Marina Smir Est and Al Minaa, indicates the Mohammed VI Foundation for the protection of the environment in a press release.
With 28 beaches, Morocco occupies the first place in the Arab world and the second in Africa, specifies the press release, stressing that this is a “significant progression” compared to the summer of 2021 (26 beaches and a marina) and summer 2020, marked by the health constraints of Covid-19. The Atlantic coast has 22 labeled beaches while the Mediterranean coast has eight beaches and two marinas.
In the Marinas category, Marina Smir joined that of Saidia this year. It should be remembered that the marina won the Blue Flag four years ago and paved the way for this demanding certification, which requires compliance with 26 criteria in six categories, such as water quality in the port area, information and communication and especially the treatment of waste. This last criterion requires the treatment of draining liquids, diesel, household waste from boats, the construction of a storage room for dangerous products before their evacuation to a treatment company.
Thus, 46 beaches had applied for this label recognized by summer visitors, but only 28 were able to meet these demanding criteria. The label is awarded to municipalities that are in charge of the complete management of the beaches within their scope: maintenance, cleanliness, equipment, safety, training, awareness, accessibility. In this considerable effort, they are accompanied by the Clean Beaches program of the Foundation and supported by the Directorate General of Local Authorities and the ministerial departments concerned.
Territorial officials are trained in beach management and environmental management and awareness tools are made available to them to enable them to welcome summer visitors in the best conditions, according to the press release. The Foundation evaluates applications for the Blue Flag and organizes spot checks during the summer to ensure compliance with all the criteria of the label granted for the season.
Finally, the municipalities are supported by the Directorate General of Local Authorities and economic partners mobilized by the Foundation within the framework of the Clean Beaches program, which provide them with managerial skills and financial support.
More than a hundred beaches are registered with Clean Beaches for 2022. The Blue Flag label created by FEE in 1987, celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2022. This eco-label for beaches, the most important in the world, is today hoisted on 4194 beaches and 732 marinas in 48 countries in Europe, Africa, America or the Caribbean or the Pacific. It is awarded according to several criteria, namely quality of bathing water, information, environmental awareness and education, health and safety and development and management.
In Morocco, the Blue Flag eco-label was introduced by the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection in 2002 as part of its Clean Beaches program. Thanks to the long-term support work of the coastal municipalities that it has accomplished, the Foundation has continued to develop its program and increase its efforts to provide environmental education, ensure the protection of the marine environment and human health, improve the accessibility of beaches and make them safer.