J’Bay beach remains Blue

2015-10-15 06:00

NOT only was Blue Flag status once again bestowed on Dolphin Beach in Jeffreys Bay, but it also received a silver certificate for being a Blue Flag beach for 12 years in a row.

The beach in Cape St Francis was awarded pilot status.

This was revealed at the National Blue Flag event held on Tuesday 6 October.

This is the first time in the Blue Flag initiative’s 15 years that beaches not only received Blue Flag status, but some of them were also awarded either gold, silver or bronze certificates.

The Blue Flag is not the only accolade that Dolphin Beach has received over the past few years. For the last two years, Dolphin Beach came out tops in a summer survey conducted by The Herald of beaches in its coverage area. Dolphin Beach is also rated highly by visitors on web-based tourism sites.

“There are seldom sewerage spills at Dolphin Beach, especially since the upgrade of the La Mer pump station last year,” says Kouga Municipal spokesperson Laura-Leigh Randall. “Even before the upgrade, the municipa-lity had a contingency plan in place to ensure that any contamination of the beach area would be minimised in the event of a sewerage spill. The fact that Dolphin Beach passed the Blue Flag test year after year is proof of the success with which the contingency measures could be implemented.

The Blue Flag is an international award and is evaluated by an independent judging panel who will not hesitate to withhold Blue Flag status from a beach that does not pass their tests. One can, therefore, safely say that Dolphin Beach has earned its Blue Flag status - there are no short cuts. The municipality will continue to do all in its power to maintain that status.”

According to Randall, the Blue Flag boosts tourism growth as it is a form of quality assurance for visitors, especially the overseas market.

“The programme further allows Kouga the opportunity to work with experts in the field of coastal and environmental management, which means that the management practices in place at Dolphin Beach are comparable to the best in the world,” says Randall.

In order to develop the Cape St Francis beach into a Blue Flag beach, new ablution facilities closer to the bathing area, as well as a first-aid room and lifeguard hut will be constructed. A boardwalk will furthermore be built for easier access to the beach. The beach and facilities also need to be disabled friendly

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