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River beach not eligible for Blue Flag

Alcoutim Câmara has announced that they will not be entering the inland river beach of Pego Fundo for consideration for a Blue Flag award as they “disagree with the criteria” set out for the award in relation to inland bathing areas.

According to the câmara, the Blue Flag Association of Europe (ABAE) criteria does not differentiate for inland and coastal bathing areas making it unable to reach the criteria needed for the award.

A spokesman said: “The Pego Fundo beach offers excellent standards but needs to be classified differently by the ABAE as the criteria for riverside beaches is inconsistent and discriminatory.”

While there will be no Blue Flag for the inland beach, the Câmara assured that water quality would continue to be monitored: “There will be weekly analysis conducted according to the law and the results will be published on bulletin boards while we will also be developing environmental education activities to increase environmental awareness in the area.”

The beach will, however, still fly the accessible beach flag which it has had since 2004.