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Delray Gets Marked a Blue Flag Beach

Blue Flag Beach

Delray Gets Marked a Blue Flag Beach

Delray Beach has been around. In fact, this is the 100th year that the town’s officially been around. Yeah, we know. Delray Settlement existed from 1901-1910 (after an ignominious six years as Linton). And the Town of Delray was incorporated in 1911. We also know Delray Beach wouldn’t become a city until 1927. No matter. Because now City and Town have united, and they’ve done so beneath a shimmering Blue Flag.

Yep, Delray Beach has just been accredited a Blue Flag Beach. And we couldn’t be more proud.

Why? Because being designated a Blue Flag Beach means Delray Beach’s beachfront is among the best in the whole wild world.

Heck, just being eligible for the citation takes some doing. Palm Beach Post reporter Jasmine Fernández says that “beaches must [first] comply with a series of 33 stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria.” Then they’ve got to sway an international jury.

To make matters even more impressive, not only is this the first year continental U.S. beaches were considered, but only two beaches ended up making the grade.

Delray Municipal Beach and Malibu’s Westward Beach.

It’s one thing for Florida to match-up with California; it’s quite another for a Florida beach to match-up with one of the most fabled (and expensive) strips of sand in all the land.

Delray Beach Mayor Shelly Petrolia was perhaps even more proud than we were – and rightfully so too..

“With the Atlantic Ocean at our doorstep, Delray Beach is proud to have a beautiful, world-class beach to call our own,” said the mayor. “I am especially grateful for the dedicated individuals who have put so much effort into ensuring that our natural beach is safe, accessible and that beachgoers are educated about our conservation initiatives.”

Blue Flag Beach

What does being a Blue Flag Beach mean in the grand scheme of things?

A lot.

Fernández isn’t lying when he says Blue Flag designation “is one of the most coveted voluntary awards for beaches, marinas and sustainable tourism boats in the world.” The folks behind the program say being “a Blue Flag beach, marina or boating operator not only provides a sense of pride to the community, but it also promotes environmental issues and awareness.”

Blue Flag was launched by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) back in 1987. FEE is connected to the European Commission, and the award was initially limited to the Continent. That all changed when South Africa joined in 2001.

There currently are 5,063 beaches, marinas and tourism boats across 51 countries that have earned a Blue Flag. And again, two of those beaches are right here in the U.S.

“Our sites have worked hard for several months to implement and maintain more than 30 diverse criteria to achieve award status,” said Annie Mercer, program coordinator for the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association. “Their staff and communities can raise their flags with pride for going above and beyond U.S. standards to receive international recognition for sustainable management practices.”

Foundation for Environmental Education

FEE is a Copenhagen-based not-for-profit, non-governmental organization consisting of 65 organizations in 77 member countries. In addition to the Blue Flag program, FEE also runs Eco-Schools, Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE), Learning about Forests (LEAF) and Green Key International.

In other words, FEE is all about smart stewardship, of our planet, as well as ourselves. That makes them our natural allies. No, not just because we also want to protect and honor beautiful beaches (though there is that), but because sobriety and smart stewardship go hand-in-hand. In fact, sobriety takes smart stewardship. And sober folks tend to be smart stewards wherever they go.

Go Ahead, Blame Sobriety for the Blue Flag Beach

Healing Properties says blame sobriety. In fact, we insist. And why not? Everyone else does. Especially in Delray Beach. Then again, when a town becomes a beacon of recovery, there’s bound to be some pushback. We took it before. We’ll take it now. And this time we’ll take it gladly. Because this kind of blame makes sense. It also makes us very, very happy.

Okay, so we don’t know for sure whether or not sobriety helped get us that Blue Flag. We can’t help believing however that the honor can be attributed to the town’s sober mindset. Year after year, Delray Beach gets stronger and more sober. And if it’s as evident on the streets and in the sober-friendly workplaces, why wouldn’t it be evident on its beaches?

Want proof? Then head on over to Delray Beach Municipal Beach between Casuarina Road and Laing Street. Because one sobering look at all the sober souls enjoying that well-protected wonder will be all the proof you’ll ever need.

BTW: If you or a loved one is battling addiction and/or alcoholism, please give us a call. We’ve been helping men regain their footing since 2002; we’d be thrilled to help you too. We’d also be honored. Seriously.

Image courtesy City of Delray Beach

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