And on a lighter note…

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      The Canary Islands have been awarded 39 Blue Flags.

      “10.06.2009 – The Blue Flag is a vol­untary eco-label awarded to over 3,200 beaches and marinas in 37 countries across Europe, South Af­rica, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Canada and the Caribbean. The Blue Flag Programme is owned and run by the independ­ent non-profit organisation Foundation for Environ­mental Education (FEE) and in the Canary Islands operates under the aus­pices of the regional depart­ment of health.

      The Blue Flag works towards sustainable devel­opment at beaches/mari­nas through strict criteria dealing with water quality, environmental education and information, environ­mental management, and safety and other services. The Blue Flag Programme includes environmental education and information for the public, decision makers and tour operators. This year the Canaries has been awarded 32 beach flags, three marina flags, two Blue Flag Centres and one distinction. The flags are a mark of work sucessfully undertaken by councils and managers in maintaining and improving the standards of bath­ing areas, water quality, facilities, and access to beaches and marinas, the availabilty/promotion of environmental education and beach security and services. They also have a high international rec­ognition factor and are generally seen as a boost to tourism.

      Gran Canaria:
      Las Canteras, La Laja, Melenara, El Inglés, San Agustín, Maspalomas, Amadores, Playa de Mogán.

      Matagorda, Los Pocillos, Grande (Blanca), Blanca.

      Fuerteventura: Gran Tara­jal, Costa Calma, El Mator­ral, Butihondo, Grandes Playas, Blanca.

      Tenerife: El Médano, Leoca­dio Machado, La Tejita, Las Vistas, Troya I-II (Américas I-II), Fañabé, La Arena, El Socorro, Playa Jardín, San Telmo, La Arena (Mesa del Mar).

      La Palma: Los Cancajos, Puerto Naos, Charco Verde.

      Gran Canaria: P. D. Puerto de Mogán, Club de Yates Pasito Blanco.

      P. D. Puerto Calero.

      Telde, for lifesaving and first aid facilities
      Blue Flag Centres:
      Gran Canaria, San Bar­tolomé de Tirajana, the interpretative centre at the Maspalomas dunes. Fuerteventura, Pájara Nature centre.”

      When you are surrounded by beaches and the ocean, you tend to forget why you came here in the first place…..

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