2024 Summer in Morocco: Blue Flag to Be Flown on 27 Beaches, One Mountain Lake, Four Marinas

The international Blue Flag label, awarded annually by the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection, chaired by Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa, will be flown on 27 beaches, four marinas and, for the first time in Morocco, on a mountain lake during the 2024 summer season.

With a total of 32 sites awarded the label, Morocco ranks 18th out of 43 countries in the Northern Hemisphere and the Arab country with the most Blue Flags and the second most in Africa.

The Blue Flag label is a demanding ecolabel established by the Foundation for Environmental Education and introduced in Morocco in 2002 by the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection.

All 27 beaches awarded the 2023 label have renewed their Blue Flag status, testifying to stakeholders' commitment to maintaining the label's high standards throughout the summer season, the Foundation said in a press release.

The beaches in question are Oued Laou, Essaouira, Arekmane, El Haouzia, Sidi Rahal 4th tranche, Bouznika, Ba Kacem, Mdiq, Rifienne, Sidi Ifni, Saïdia Municipale, Station Touristique Saidia Ouest, Dalia, Achakar, Bedouza, Safi Municipale, Souiria Lakdima, Aglou, Imin Tourgha, Oum Labouir, Foum el Oued, Skhirate, Sidi Abed /El Jadida, Les nations, Aïn Diab extension, Al Minaa and Est Marina Smir, according to the press release.

For the first time in Morocco, a mountain lake has been awarded the Blue Flag label: Aguelmam Azigza in the Khenifra National Park. Nestled between a long cliff and a forest of Atlas cedars several hundred years old, this "green lake" is a wild pearl of the Middle Atlas, noted the same source.

To boost visitor numbers to this very popular spot in Khenifra and the surrounding region, the local authorities have decided to develop the site, including access roads, service buildings, a camping area and sanitary facilities. A project that the Foundation has supported by awarding it the Blue Flag label.

For Tanja Marina Bay, the fourth marina to hoist the Blue Flag, after Saidia in 2018, Est Marina Smir in 2022 and Al Hoceima in 2023, this ecolabel is a natural continuation of its development, stresses the press release.

Opened in 2018 as part of the reconfiguration of the Tangier Port, it is now the Kingdom's largest marina, with 1,400 berths. Its modern, comprehensive facilities, particularly for waste management, have earned it the ecolabel.

The Blue Flag is highly prized by coastal municipalities, which are responsible for beach management, for the positive image it conveys and its attractiveness to summer visitors.

A total of 49 beaches applied for the 2024 edition of the label, which is awarded on the basis of compliance with four main criteria: bathing water quality, environmental information and awareness, hygiene and safety, and development and management. Unannounced checks are carried out during the summer season to ensure that label-approved sites comply with these criteria.

Blue Flag labeled beaches are all part of the Clean Beaches program, which brings together over a hundred beaches, mainly the most popular in the country. 66 local authorities, supported by their supervisory authorities, the Directorate General of Local Authorities, all the administrations involved in coastal management, 26 economic partners and over a hundred local associations, will be mobilizing for almost three months to raise awareness and educate summer visitors, ensure the quality of bathing water and sand, equip beaches, guarantee safety and sanitary coverage, and enforce law and order.

Ocean and beach pollution is a major concern for the Mohammed VI Foundation for of the Environment, which has been rolling out operation “bharblaplastic” (plastic free beaches) since 2019. This initiative aims to raise mass awareness of plastic pollution among summer visitors, collect waste on beaches and recycle it.

In 2024, this operation will be held for the fifth time and has become a benchmark, with all Blue Flag beaches taking part. The initiative is recognized and integrated into the United Nations Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development, of which the Foundation is a stakeholder.

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