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Fourteen coastal beaches of the Madeira archipelago will boast the Blue Flag this year and the first two flags will be hoisted today Friday 1st June on the north coast.

The Blue Flag Association of Europe (ABAE) also awarded Blue Flags to three marinas, three ecotourism vessels and four blue centres.

The award-winning coastal beaches are located in Funchal namely Clube Naval do Funchal (private), Praia do Areeiro (private), Ponta Gorda – Poças do Governador, Praia Formosa and Lido Bath Complex (public); Porto Moniz (Natural Pools); Santa Cruz (Palmeiras and Reis Magos); Santana (Ribeira do Faial); São Vicente (Ponta Delgada); Ribeira Brava (Ribeira Brava) and Porto Santo Fontinha, Cabeço da Ponta (private) and Ribeiro Salgado (private).

The Blue Flag was also awarded to the Funchal Marina, the Quinta do Lorde Marina (Caniçal) and the Calheta Recreation Port (in Calheta); to three ecotourism boats in Funchal (Pleasure of the Sea, Nature of the Sea and Best of the Sea) and to four Blue Centres in Funchal.

On Friday, Blue Flags will be hoisted in the Natural Pools in the municipality of Porto Moniz and in Ponta Delgada, in the municipality of São Vicente.

They will follow Porto Santo (June 5); Santa Cruz (June 12); Santana (June 26) and Ribeira Brava (July 2).

The public concession beaches in the city of Funchal have not yet been scheduled due to being undergoing recovery after the storm that struck the south coast of Madeira between February 27 and March 1, causing damages in the order of 670 thousand euros.

“As the works are completed we will proceed to the hoisting of the Flags,” said Funchal City Council source.

The Blue Flag Program is an environmental award awarded annually to beaches, marinas and recreational ports that meet a set of criteria for environmental management, environmental education, information, bathing water quality, services and user safety.

In Portugal, the award is developed by the Portuguese Blue Flag Association (ABAE), the Portuguese section of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and has the technical support of the Portuguese Environmental Agency (APA), among other public and private entities with management of beaches, marinas and recreational ports.