TWENTY-FIVE Almeria province beaches and one of its marinas have been awarded Blue Flags this year.
Eight Almeria towns are now entitled to fly them for the next 12 months: Pulpi (three), Mojacar (three), Carboneras (one), Nijar (two), Almeria (two), Roquetas de Mar (six), El Ejido (five) and Adra (three).
All retained flags were awarded last year, except to Carboneras which lost to Los Barquicos-Los Cocones and El Ancon beaches.
Roquetas received a flag for its marina as well as its beaches, while Adra was also given flags for the Museo del Mar museum and San Nicolas pathway.
The flags go to beaches and marinas that comply with stringent standards for hygiene, cleanliness, accessibility and respect for the environment.
The programme is a voluntary eco-label that is awarded to more than 4,000 beaches and marinas in 49 countries across Europe, Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, the Caribbean and Brazil.
The scheme is owned and run by the non-government, non-profit organisation, Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), of which Spain’s Association for Environmental Education and the Consumer (ADEAC) is a founding member.
Andalucia has 95 blue flags this year – 78 for beaches and 17 for marinas – although it has lost three since 2015. Cadiz, with 31, has the most, followed by Almeria (26), Malaga (22), Huelva (12) and Granada (four).
Spain now has 678 of the awards and one in every six of the blue flags that are granted by the FEE worldwide flies on a Spanish beach.