Clean Marina

Crown Bay Marina is awarded the Blue Flag for the fifth year in a row


We are very proud to have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag for Sustainable Tourism for 2016–2017. The St Thomas Source recently published a complete article that summarizes the significance of this well known award as well as our great sense of accomplishment.

Four Beaches and Two Marinas Awarded Blue Flag for Sustainable Tourism 


After an extensive annual review process, four of the territory’s beaches and two of its marinas will once again fly an eco-label that recognizes them for their dedication to sustainable tourism.

Known as the “Blue Flag Program,” the status is designated by the Foundation for Environmental Education and is based on compliance with 32 criteria, including environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management and safety.

The flags this year were awarded to:

  • St. Thomas: Emerald Beach, Great Bay Beach and Crown Bay Marina.
  • St. Croix: Green Cay Beach at Tamarind Reef, the Palms at Pelican Cove, and Green Cay Marina.

All have received the award at least once before. Crown Bay Marina and Green Cay Marina have now been certified for the fifth year in a row.

FEE sets the criteria the sites must comply with, but it’s all guided by information from the United Nations Environment Programme, World Health Organization and World Trade Organization. There’s also a $1,000 application fee and the beaches must cover some of the water monitoring costs.

“The Blue Flag Program is increasingly being conducted within a wider context, improving the environmental quality of beaches and marinas and the management of coastal areas in a holistic way,” said the V.I. Blue Flag coordinator Valerie Peters. Peters explained that having multiple stakeholders on one beach can be very challenging, since part of the beach could be managed, but not all of it. At Emerald Beach, the Blue Flag designation only covers the part of the beach that is maintained by the resort.

“It is a system that does not curtail recreation and tourism in the coastal area but rather deals with it through a wide range of subjects, activities and users that have direct and indirect interactions with the coastal environment,” Peters added. 

When the territory’s Blue Flag sites raise their flags on Dec. 1, they can promote the designation on their websites and social media accounts. The V.I. Department of Tourism, the V.I. Hotel and Tourism Industry and the national Blue Flag website will promote their eco-conscious status.

According to Peters, anyone interested in coastal conservation, sustainability, marine eco-systems, water safety and quality will appreciate the designation.

The sites must apply for designation every year even if they’ve been awarded the status in previous years. A team of national jurors from agencies and departments including the Environmental Protection Agency, V.I. Waste Management Authority, Coast Zone Management and the Department of Education review the applications and conduct an on-site inspection.

“The Blue Flag Program serves to encourage authorities and managers to provide beaches and marinas with a certain level of environmental quality, cleanliness, and safety standards for local populations and tourists” Peters said.

Peters said that not all of the benefits of having Blue Flag status are obvious, and listed the following additional additional advantages:

  • Clean beaches and regularly monitored bathing water quality,
  • Environmental education activities and information for residents and visitors,
  • Access to life saving equipment and other safety services,
  • Healthy and safe coastal environments,
  • Preservation of the local natural resources,
  • Promote sound environmental values and sustainable lifestyles,
  • Bring together the tourism and environmental sectors at local, national and regional levels,
  • International exposure and recognition for the USVI, and
  • Foster community pride.

Founded in 1987, the Blue Flag Program started with 10 participating countries and is now found in 48 countries and more than 4,000 beaches and marinas around the world. 

Crown Bay is honored to raise the Blue Flag once again.

For the 4th consecutive year Crown Bay Marina has received the Blue Flag. The 2015–2016 Blue Flag raising took place a few weeks ago and was the pride of the Crown Bay Marina staff in St. Thomas.

The Blue Flag is one of the most prestigious international awards—trusted by millions around the globe—given to beaches, marinas and boats that are implementing solid strategies that improve the local environment and nature. The criteria for awarding the blue flag is based on compliance with 24 items within the following categories:

  1. Environmental Education and Information
  2. Water Quality
  3. Environmental Management
  4. Safety and Services

From raising awareness about the need to care for the environment, to instituting policies and regulations that ensure an appropriate code of conduct, offering educational activities to guests and staff, providing recycling facilities, creating adequate signage and so much more, The Blue Flag is making a difference.

"The Blue Flag represents a serious and profound commitment to both people and the environment".


There are currently 4,154 Beaches and Marinas that bear the Blue Flag, across 49 countries. Crown Bay Marina is honored to be one of them and shares the goal of the Blue Flag programme, of creating connections between people and their surroundings, in order to help them get to know their environment and learn ways to preserve it.

“We educate to protect. To protect not just our environment but the people who live in it, the communities who depend on it, the businesses who profit from it and the ecosystems which rely on it!”


Blue Flag International endorses patented eco-sunscreen

Crown Bay proudly holds and flies their 2015 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. Blue Flag International has recently endorsed the first sunscreen that meets the requirements of an ecocompatible formula, Sovee sunscreen, created by Aethic. Read below for details directly from Blue Flag International, or find out more about Crown Bay's Blue Flag.

Copenhagen/London June 15, 2015
Original Article by Blue Flag International

Blue Flag International, the eco-label which certifies over 4,000 beaches and marinas around the world has partnered with Aethic, the skincare company that produces Sôvée sunscreen--the world's only sunscreen to have a patented ecocompatible formula. This is the first sunscreen to be endorsed by Blue Flag International and the use of Sôvée will be promoted among its stakeholders and towards the beaches and marinas which have passed its rigorous quality control tests and received the prestigious award in 2015.
Blue Flag International, through its national Blue Flag organisations only recently released the list of Blue Flag approved beaches and marinas for 2015. All these sites comply with a set of stringent criteria from bathing water quality, environmental management and education, as well as safety and services. One of the objectives is to diminish the proliferation of litter and the amount of chemicals and other substances that end up in the water. Blue Flag beaches which encounter sensitive habitats such as coral reefs must be monitored, and the municipalities, beach and marina operators are closely involved in the Blue Flag process. The ultimate objective is to mitigate all forms of pollution for a safer and more pleasant human experience but also to safeguard essential marine life.
Aethic shares these objectives and was prompted by a 2008 Italian study published in National Geographic by Prof Roberto Danovaro et al. of Marche Polytechnic University to develop a sunscreen that 'would not'.
Tests with an approved protocol were carried out by the same team to gauge a range of ingredients for their eco-compatibility (biodegradable is not enough) and reject those ingredients such as Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide which harmed Marine Life (a recent Spanish study corroborates this finding and refers specifically to phytoplankton). 
Left with a limited range of safe ingredients a sunscreen was then formulated and once again subjected to these tests in its final 'product' form. It passed the tests leaving coral and mussels intact. A patent has since been awarded for that formulation making it the only sunscreen to have this feature and benefit.
Says Sophie Bachet Granados, International Blue Flag Director: "Sôvée is already a great product for skin with its Triple-Filter protection and I love using it, feeling safe whilst knowing my summer activities will not damage the marine life which I hold so dear. The fact that it is the only sunscreen to have a patented ecocompatible formula means that it completely fits with what we want to achieve in Blue Flag. We need to see more companies like Aethic which work to diminish the harm we do to our planet, and this is why I am very proud to announce this partnership".
Adds Allard Marx, Aethic CEO: "We simply cannot keep turning a blind eye to the fact that most other sunscreens damage marine life and are estimated to account for 10% of all coral damage globally. It has to stop. Having Blue Flag's support in increasing the number of people who sustain marine life when they use Sôvée is another very significant moment in "Blue" history. In addition to Blue Flag International, The Coral Triangle also supports Aethic Sôvée and we'd love for more global environmental organisations to adopt a similar stance - especially those that work hard to save coral reefs".

Crown Bay has proudly received their Blue Flag for 2015!

The Crown Bay Marina team proudly receives the 2014-2015 Blue Flag Award

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 tothe 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 iseligible 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?

Crown Bay Marina awarded exclusive Blue Flag Certification

St. Thomas, USVI- On December 1, 2012, Crown Bay Marina in St. Thomas was awarded the internationally recognized Blue Flag Certification, an environmental award granted by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that works toward sustainable development for marinas and beaches around the world. Crown Bay Marina was the first marina to be awarded the highly respected certification in St. Thomas, a significant achievement for the marina and staff.