Crown Bay has received their Blue Flag for 2015. The flag raising took place earlier this month under clear and sunny skies, amidst the lush greenery that uniquely characterizes our beautiful marina.
What is The Blue Flag?
The Blue Flag is one of the world’s oldest and most recognized international eco-labels awarded to beaches and marinas that are making a special effort to implement sound management in relation to the local environment and nature. Select US Virgin Islands beaches and marinas have received this accolade by meeting a specific set of criteria in four main categories.
What categories are considered for awarding The Blue Flag?
1) Environmental information and education
- Beaches and marinas must relay information about local ecosystems and environmental phenomena to its guests and staff
- An environmental code of conduct must be maintained
- Environmental educational activities must be offered
2) Environmental management
- Beaches and marinas must be clean
- Waste disposal must be available and maintained
- Buildings and equipment must be well maintained
- Sensitive areas must be monitored
3) Safety and services. The following must be available at beaches and marinas:
- Lifesaving, first-aid and fire-fighting equipment
- Emergency plans in case of pollution, fire or other accidents
- Zoning for different uses
- Safe access
- Drinking water
- Access for disabled persons
4) Water quality
- Regular chemical and physical water quality testing must be performed
- Water must not display evidence of pollution, oil, litter, or sewage
How often is The Blue Flag awarded?
The Blue Flag is awarded annually and is only valid as long as these criteria are fulfilled.
Why is it a good idea to Blue Flag in the US Virgin Islands?
- Excellent environmental education tool
- International exposure and recognition
- Marketing opportunities for the destination
- Bring together the tourism and environmental sectors at local, national and regional levels
- Outstanding sustainable management tool
- Incorporates principles of sustainable tourism where economic development goes hand-in-hand with conservation
- Healthy and safe environments
- Conserve natural resources and tourism product
- Sound environmental values and sustainable lifestyles
- Fosters community pride
How does The Blue Flag Work?
The Blue Flag season for beaches in the Virgin Islands runs from the beginning of December to the end of June. Each year the authority managing the beach or marina applies for The Blue Flag award, it is not automatically renewed every year. An international jury then decides whether the beach or marina is eligible for the award. During the season inspectors assess every Blue Flag beach and marina to ensure compliance with criteria. If there are problems they are reported to the National Operator and either the problems are rectified or The Blue Flag is removed.
Where can I get more information about The Blue Flag?