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Green Sea Partnership, Blue Flags, Green Coast Awards, and Seaside Awards
Welsh Water has one of the longest coastlines of any water and sewerage company in England and Wales. Having high quality coastal water quality is especially important for Welsh tourism which employs around 100,000 people and makes a significant contribution to our economy.
The treatment processes at our wastewater treatment works play a vital role in maintaining excellent bathing water quality and over the last 10 years we have invested over £1 billion on upgrading or building new wastewater treatment works right across our region.
Green Sea Partnership
Welsh Water is proud to be part of the Green Sea Partnership, which is a unique cross sector partnership committed to safeguarding and enhancing the coastal environment of Wales. Since the launch of the partnership in May 1996 it has achieved considerable progress in increasing the number of Blue Flag award beaches.
41 beaches and 5 marinas were awarded Blue Flags in 2011.
The Blue Flag campaign is administered in Wales by Keep Wales Tidy and in the UK by ENCAMS (Keep Britiain Tidy) on behalf of the FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education). Blue Flags have been flying at beaches throughout Europe and the UK since the campaign started in 1987, providing a comparison with coastal resorts across 22 countries.
Bathing Water quality must meet the highest, recommended European guideline standards and the beach must be clean, well managed and promote sound environmental management.
Green Coast Awards
47 beaches were awarded the Green Coast Award in 2011.
The Green Coast Award is a symbol of environmental excellence, established to acknowledge, promote and protect the environment of rural beaches in Wales.
The aim of the Green Coast Award is ‘To acknowledge those beaches which meet Guideline water quality and are prized for their natural, unspoiled environment’.
The Green Coast Award is unique in that it recognises Guideline water quality (Guideline is the EU designation for excellent water quality) as well as Best Practice in environmental management for rural beaches, which may not have the facilities associated with resort beaches. It is managed in Wales by Keep Wales Tidy.
The Green Coast Award is given to beaches which, are managed with the involvement of the community, for the benefit of visitors and the environment. It places a strong emphasis on community and environmental activities.
The number of beaches awarded Seaside Awards in 2011 are 104.
The distinctive yellow and blue flag is awarded to beaches that meet mandatory standard water quality and are, clean, safe, Well-managed.
Because beaches are all very different in character, the Seaside Awards are split into two categories, ‘'resort’ and ‘rural’.
A Seaside Award 'RESORT' beach attracts many visitors with its facilities and activities. Usually found in or near towns, resort beaches provide toilets, car parks, access and facilities for disabled people and restrict access for dogs.