Playa Del Carmen beaches are the stuff of postcards and travel brochures. From Mamitas Beach Club and Zenzi where people go to be seen and enjoy music under the palms to the quieter Playacar beach, Playa Del Carmen beaches provide the perfect backdrop to your luxe life. Now, the municipal government of Solidaridad hopes to have Playa Del Carmen beaches honoured with prestigious Blue Flag awards.
Blue Flag Awards
Blue Flags are awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education or FEE. They can be awarded to any beach, marina or sustainable boating tourism operator that meet their strict standards. Playa Del Carmen is currently hoping to have two of it’s beaches awarded blue flags.
The FEE is a non-profit NGO established in 1981 that promotes sustainable development. They aim to do this through the five programs that they currently run. Namely, Blue Flag, Eco-Schools, Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE), Learning about Forests (LEAF) and Green Key. As a whole, the FEE consists of 65 organisations in 60 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, North America and South America. As Mexico is a member country, the municipal government of Solidaridad can apply for one of the FEE’s prestigious awards.
The Blue Flag awards is held in high-esteem due to the strict standards needed in order to be awarded one. Criteria for gaining a Blue Flag includes: water quality, safety, environmental education and information, services provided and environmental management.
Although results for other countries are announced earlier, for the Caribbean the FEE announce the winners annually on November 1st.
Playa Del Carmen Beaches to be Awarded Blue Flag Status
The municipal government has so far applied for two Blue Flag awards for beaches in Playa Del Carmen. The first beach chosen for the application process was Punta Esmerelda. City officials then saw fit to also include popular Founder Park beach. The decision to apply for such a prestigious award was announced by Municipal President Cristina Torrez Gomez, “we are in search of it [a Blue Flag] and are about to announce it…They already have the official paperwork. The files have been sent.”
So far, the Riviera Maya is yet to receive a Blue Flag award. So even if only one of the beaches receive a Blue Flag, it will still be a massive achievement for the area. Some have expressed concern as to the sargazo problem that Playa Del Carmen beaches are currently facing. However Gomez does not consider this a major factor.
“We are working on the issue of cleaning the sargazo. They have seen it and I do not believe it is an obstacle because it is a natural issue on the coast of Quintana Roo.” – Cristina Torrez Gomez.
The FEE are an organisation dedicated to the sustainability of our beaches. So, a natural occurrence such as sargazo should not limit our chances. Although there may be other obstacles facing Playa Del Carmen beaches. Gomez comments that, “There may be difficulty in the service part because there are no showers in one and another is missing sanitary services.”
Whether the FEE honours Playa Del Carmen beaches or not this year on November 1st, the local governments decision to pursue such awards does show a level of commitment to sustaining the beautiful nature of the Riviera Maya for years to come.