By Tamarindo News Staff Photos by: Fanny Stövander
The community achieved 97 out of 100 possible points.
The Blue Flag flies high in Tamarindo Beach, after reaching 97 points out of possible 100 in the Community category of the Blue Flag Ecological Program (PBAE), according to the National Water Laboratory (LNA) of the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (A y A).
According to Arcelio Chávez, coordinator of this section of the PBAE in the LNA, last year a local committee led by Jordi Riera Villagrasa was created in Tamarindo to address this goal.
They produced a document to qualify for the above-mentioned award, which “was evaluated by the technical team of the Community category” of the LNA.
“A visit was made to Tamarindo where the evaluation was verified on-site and several details were clarified. That day we analyzed all the details with local representatives and companies, like the Cala Luna Hotel,” explained the official member of the LNA.
Several institutions of the area of Santa Cruz were involved in achieving the Blue Flag requirements: the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism of Tamarindo (CCTT), the Municipality of Santa Cruz, the Tamarindo Community Development Association, the Administrative Association of the Tamarindo Aqueduct, the Voluntary Forest Fire Brigade of Tamarindo, Blue Flag Ecological Micro Watersheds of Tamarindo, Salvemonos, CEPIA, The Clean Wave, Surfrider Foundation, the Distance State University as well as the Ministry of Environment and Energy.
Other organizations engaged in the Blue Flag Program were the Environment Commission of Santa Cruz, the Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers of Santa Cruz, Tamarindo Art Wave, the Fire Department of Huacas, the Ministry of Health.
Further assistance came from Nogui’s Restaurant, Cala Luna Villas, Tamarindo Transfers and Tours, Monkey Jungle Canopy, Pangas Restaurant, and Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas.
The LNA evaluation is obtained by evaluating different aspects with the following score: water for human consumption (20 points), disposal of solid waste (10), domestic liquid waste disposal (15), signage (10), environmental education (10 ), comprehensive health care (10), disposal of industrial discharges (10), protection of water resources (10) and police and environmental security (5). In the case of Tamarindo as a result of the evaluation, a score of 97 out of 100 possible points was obtained. “The very good grades obtained by the community of Tamarindo reflect the work and effort made to achieve the Ecological Blue Flag award,” said Chávez.
Sum of forces Hernan Imhoff, President of the CCTT, explained that the award for Tamarindo is an example of the work that civil organizations have been doing over the past two years. “For months, groups of volunteers have dedicated lots of effort to beach cleaning, solid waste collection and recycling as well as the elimination of mosquito breeding sites that spread dengue, among other actions. They have also organized workshops about saving water, and cultural events have been encouraged. Tamarindo offers more than sun and beaches; our national and foreign visitors can enjoy a wide variety of activities in relation to culture and gastronomy,” Imhoff explained. Maria Rosa López, Mayor of Santa Cruz, highlighted the importance of the local tourism industry for generating employment, thus improving families´ quality of life.
“Our canton has the best beaches in Costa Rica, so we must make great efforts to keep these places and their environments with the highest environmental standards. The beauty of natural resources is our greatest potential for attracting national and foreign visitors. From now on, we must remain vigilant in order to maintain this award because the most difficult thing is not receive it, but to stay on top,” the Mayor said.
The ceremony for raising the Ecological Blue Flag in Tamarindo took place on August 4, during a special event that included samples of solid waste collection, as well as music, among other activities.