Knysna Municipal Manager, Kam Chetty is delighted that Greater Knysna has once again secured several Blue Flags.
Buffalo Bay and Brenton-on-Sea beaches both received Blue Flag Status for the 2017/2018 season. During the prestigious national Blue Flag launch held on Wednesday, October 4, Blue Flags were also awarded to two Knysna Marinas, Thesen Harbour Town and Thesen Island and one Sustainable Tourism Boat Operator, Ocean Odyssey’s boats, Sousa, Dolphin and Oyster Catcher.
Blue Flag eco-label applicants endured a rigorous multi-stage approval and national and international assessments approval process by a South African and International Jury Panel earlier this year.
The Western Cape has achieved the highest number of Blue Flag sites, with 28 of its beaches, all eleven boats and six of the seven Blue Flag Marinas falling within the Province.
“Now that our town is in a rebuild phase, Knysna Municipality recognises the value of our Blue Flags as not just important for environmental management and education, but also for tourism, economic development and job creation. We are still at early phases of rebuilding of Greater Knysna and this award demonstrates our commitment to the rebuild programme, ensuring that Knysna will rise out of the ashes, better and stronger than before,” said Chetty.
South Africa has participated in the Blue Flag international coastal programme since 2001. This programme accredits beaches that meet standards of excellence in water quality, environmental management, environmental education and information as well as safety and services.
The Blue Flag programme offers many benefits: improved tourism facilities, enhanced management of coastal ecosystems, increased awareness of the coast and capacity building of coastal municipalities. In South Africa the programme is implemented by the Wildlife Environmental Society of South Africa (WESSA).