Istanbul is surrounded by beautiful beaches and holiday destinations, and with summer approaching, the sunglasses, sunscreen and beach towels that have been in the back of the cupboard are making their way to the light of day once again. As entertaining as it is to spend a day at the beach tanning and returning home with a pocket full of sand, finding yourself at an unsafe beach can turn a good weekend away, into a disaster. Beaches can pose great threats, such as heatstroke, illness resulting from pollution, stings and bites, rip tides and drowning. Most dangers can be avoided by taking the necessary precautions beforehand, while others are solely dependent on beach conditions.
The foundation for environmental education in Europe (FEEE) developed Blue Flag accreditation in which four conditions must be met.
1. Environmental education and information
Blue flag information
-beach users are offered environmental education activities
-bathing water quality
-Information relating to local eco-systems and environmental phenomena is displayed
-bathing water quality is clear and displayed
-a map of the beach with its facilities
-A code of conduct that reflects appropriate laws governing the use of the beach and surrounding areas must be displayed.
2. Water Quality
The beach must fully comply with the water quality sampling and frequency requirements.The beach must fully comply with the standards and requirements for water quality analysis.
-No industrial, wastewater or sewage-related discharges should affect the beach area.
-The beach must comply with the Blue Flag requirements for the microbiological parameter fecal coli bacteria (E.coli) and intestinal enterococci/streptococci.
-The beach must comply with Blue Flag requirements for physical and chemical parameters.
3) Environmental Management
-The local authority/beach operator should establish a beach management committee.
-The local authority/beach operator must comply with all regulations affecting the location and operation of the beach.
-The beach must be clean.
-Algae vegetation or natural debris should be left on the beach.
-Waste disposal bins/containers must be available at the beach in adequate numbers and they must be regularly maintained.
-Facilities for the separation of recyclable waste materials should be available at the beach.
-An adequate number of toilet or restroom facilities must be provided.
-The toilet or restroom facilities must be kept clean.
-The toilet or restroom facilities must have controlled sewage disposal.
-There should be no unauthorized camping, driving or dumping of waste on the beach.
-Access to the beach by dogs and other domestic animals must be strictly controlled.
-All buildings and beach equipment must be properly maintained.
-Coral reefs in the vicinity of the beach must be monitored.
-A sustainable means of transportation should be promoted in the beach area.
4) Safety and Services
-An adequate number of lifeguards and/or lifesaving equipment must be available at the beach.
-First aid equipment must be available on the beach.
-Emergency plans to cope with pollution risks must be in place.
-There must be management of beach users and events to prevent conflicts and accidents.
-There must be safety measures in place to protect beach users.
-A supply of drinking water should be available at the beach.
-At least one Blue Flag beach in each municipality must have wheelchair and accessibility features.
-Wheelchair access and accessibility features must be in place for at least one Blue Flag beach in each municipality.
-Four hundred beaches in 48 countries have been awarded with the blue flag thus far. Amongst these figures, 371 beaches and 21 marinas in Turkey have been honored with the accreditation, three of which are in Istanbul alone.
-The latest to receive Blue Flag recognition is Şile, Famous for its sandy beaches, the coastal town of Şile, situated 70 kilometers from İstanbul has undergone massive changes. The most striking one is that there are currently three beaches awarded with the international ecolabel "Blue Flag." With high-water quality and facilities, the well-kept beaches are attracting public interest. The Blue Flag certification not only symbolizes compliance with cleaning standards, but also contributes to sea tourism.
Previously notorious for serious drowning cases and dirty beaches looking like rubbish dumps, the town now has a clean sea protected by full-service coast guards. Local residents or tourists can safely spend their holiday at this scenic town with its 60-kilometer seashore. Here are more details about the coast guards at the three blue flag beaches:
36 lifeguards, six jet-skis, two zodiac boats, two ambulances and two ATVs
eight lifeguards, one jet ski and one ambulance
23 lifeguards, one ambulance and one ATV