Blue Water, Blue Flag?
With summer approaching and the weather getting hotter, people are looking for ways to cool down and get a break from the high temperatures, to which Lousã offers the perfect solution with its river beaches. In the municipality there are 3 river beaches, 2 of which have attained the Blue Flag certification.
The Blue Flag award system comes with a series of requirements that a beach should meet, in order to receive it, like excellent water quality, accessibility for disabled people, no litter, no domestic animals (except for guide dogs) and at least two lifeguards (in the case of Lousã). In Portugal this is managed by ABAE.
In the municipality of Lousã there are three river beaches. Two of them have the blue flag certificate. One of the problems mentioned by Soraia Correia, the superior technician for the environment of the Lousã municipality, is related with the difficulty to find lifeguards that would want to work there in the high-season, who can ensure the upkeep of the flag.
Sra. da Graça beach is the one of the three that lost its entitlement to this award, but the aim is to get it back in the summer of 2024. This happened due to the 2017 wildfires, which bare the soil. When it rained, all the sediment went down into the river, negatively affecting the water quality.
The President of the Parish of Serpins, Paulo Simões, said that despite losing its certification it didn’t stop people from frequenting this beach, as the rest of the standards were upkept, and even improved.
Many improvements were made, including the creation of a slogan “Serpins, a window to the world”, which is a registered trademark. The goal of these actions is to continue attracting more and more visitors.
Gustavo Santos, Inês Amaral, Roze Aleksa Bogdane, Sara Mifsud, Tjaša Marolt
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