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Murcia has 31 blue flags for its beaches

SPAIN IS setting the standard when it comes to European beach quality. This year, Spain holds the record and is number one with 681 quality marks, and beaches flying ‘blue flags’. For 2014, Spain has achieved 681 Blue Flags on 573 beaches and in108 marinas, which means an increase of 34 more flags of these quality marks, over 2013. This is a new world record, with Spain followed by Greece, Turkey, France and Portugal./p>

For 2014, Spain has achieved 681 Blue Flags on 573 beaches and in108 marinas, which means an increase of 34 more flags of these quality marks, over 2013. This is a new world record, with Spain followed by Greece, Turkey, France and Portugal. In a press conference, the president of the Association of Environmental and Consumer Education (ADEAC), José Ramón Sánchez Moro, explained that this result strengthens global leadership in Spain, which has been continuously improving since 1987. The ADEAC is the Spanish branch of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and has been responsible for the campaign of the blue flags for two decades. The total of 681 Blue Flags this year represent 23 more beaches and eleven more marinas than in the last financial year. When it comes to the world rankings, following Spain, with 407 blue flags is Greece; Turkey has 397; France 379 and 298 in Portugal, for figures which relate exclusively to the beaches. In total, the 2014 Blue Flag International Jury awarded 4,023 flags of quality. Regarding the total number of outstanding beaches throughout Spain, Galicia is top with 123 (-4), then Valencia with 120 (+6) followed by Catalonia with 89 (-1), Andalusia with 81 (+3), Baleares 61 (+15) Canary 43 (+1) and Murcia with 31 (+7); while two marinas occupy the first places, with Catalonia and the Balearic both having 24. Thus Murcia shows the second highest improvement rate with seven new flags more than last year, with only the Baleares showing better results. In essence, the flag means that accessibility to beaches, the quality of water and sand, safety and cleanliness, are the attributes that determine the satisfaction of the tourists visiting the coastal areas. In terms of thematic distinctions, Blue Flags were awarded to Spanish municipalities who highlight the excellence in marine rescue and relief issues; environmental education and information and removal of architectural barriers and also the care for people with disabilities and especially urban waste management. The best urban waste management program in Spain was awarded to Los Alcazares in Murcia while information and environmental education is led by the Puerto Deportivo de Vilanova Aurosa (Pontevedra). The organization also wanted to promote the "Blue Trail Network", routes that link beaches or ports with Galicia (15) and Valencia (13) contributing most to this scheme. And hats off to Cartagena, Spain’s second town for Blue Flags and still the first in the Mediterranean, with ten awards, two more than last year. Only the town of Sanxenxo in Galicia, has a greater number of flags throughout Spain. These awards place Cartagena as the top Mediterranean town for blue flags for the sixth consecutive year and the first in Spain for ‘Q Quality’ for the fifth year (Article from Round Town News)(Picture from nerea.hernandezmontesinos.)

Blue Flag Beaches Murcia