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Ballyronan Marina retains prestigious Blue Flag Award

Ballyronan Marina retains prestigious Blue Flag Award

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful has announced that Ballyronan Marina has once again been awarded the internationally renowned Blue Flag for the 2020 season. The Blue Flag award is certified by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and is delivered in 47 participating countries.  In 2020 Blue Flags have been awarded to 4,664 beaches, marinas and boats worldwide. Beach and marina operators receiving a Blue Flag are demonstrating their commitment to protecting the marine environment, excellent water quality, safety, and providing access for all. 
 
The Blue Flag may only be flown if all the criteria are successfully met and maintained throughout the summer season.
 
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Cathal Mallaghan commented,

The retention of the Blue Flag at Ballyronan Marina for another year is yet again a reflection of the hard work our Council staff and those who use the Marina, carry out in their role as custodians of our local environment, to ensure that this wonderful natural resource right on the shores of Mid Ulster continues to maintain its excellent water quality, safety and access for all. It’s even more pleasing given the challenging environment that we find ourselves all in. As we continue to gradually reopen access to the Marina in the coming weeks and months, we’re encouraging people to continue to respect the natural environment, and the public health guidance that is in place, when they visit once again.”

 
Commenting on the awards, Dr. Ian Humphreys, CEO of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful stated;

"We are delighted to see the high standards at so many of our local beaches continuing into 2020. Our fantastic beaches are an important part of the natural wealth that we can all enjoy as a community. This summer, it is important to follow guidance from the public health authorities around social distancing when visiting local beaches. Furthermore, it is up to all of us to ensure that we leave these beauty spots in good condition. I am appealing to everyone to make sure that they leave no trace on our local beaches by putting litter in the bin."
 
He continued "The success of our local beaches and marinas is a testament to the hard work of many of our key workers within local councils and volunteers within the community who help make the difference in maintaining such high standards at our local beaches"
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges for the management of beaches and marinas this summer. Blue Flags only fly when rigorous standards are met, including water quality, accessibility and safety; including lifeguard cover should it be deemed a requirement following a risk assessment of the beach.
 
Jamie Miller, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, LEQ Manager said,
 
“Together with our programme partners our number one priority is public safety. If we use beaches and marinas we must take responsibility for our own safety in the water, heeding hazard warning signs, checking tide times and taking weather conditions into consideration before setting out into, or onto the sea. We would therefore like to remind all beach and marina users, especially parents, to be on high alert to all risks of danger and to exercise caution when visiting the coast.”
 
It is of paramount importance that all beach and marina goers behave responsibly and follow the public health guidance provided by the Northern Ireland Executive and by their local council.
 
Information and guidance on how to enjoy a safe and healthy visit to sites of outdoor recreation in Northern Ireland can be found at: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/covid-19-gradual-reopening-outdoor-recreation-sites
 
For information about parks and open spaces in Mid Ulster please visit: https://www.midulstercouncil.org/resident/health-wellbeing/coronavirus-advice-and-information
 
 

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