The blue flag is a prize or a recognition granted by an international jury (representatives of the Tourism Worlwide Organization, of the United Nations Programmes for Environment,...) to those beaches fulfilling specific codes of legality, accessibility, health, cleanliness and safety provided with a suitable environmental information and management. The Blue Flag Campaign was created by the Foundation of Environmental Education (FEE) in France in 1982 and it is developed nowdays all over the world. In 2009, 41 European countries, Tunisia, Morocc, the Republic of South Africa, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Bahamas and Jamaica already had blue flags. The criteria for awarding the blue flags were periodically revised internationally adding some further demands and specifications as well as modifying significantly the order of questions in the questionnaire. It wasn't the ultimate goal of Blue Flag advocating a universal model of beach, much less the justification of the alteration in diverse natural landscapes, but achieving a sustainable development of tourism and environmental management in the whole coastline of the municiality as well as rewarding the effort towards the conservation in these areas. Although only 1 out of 7 beaches are awarded the Blue Flag, we have to be proud of the fact that 1 out of the 7 granted worlwide flutters in Spain. Not only beaches are awarded the Blue Flag, but also those marinas that meet specific conditions.
The Association of Environmental and Consumer Education (ADEAC), in charge of awarding the Flags, also grant thematic Distinctions to Spanish municipalities with blue flags which have made a special and diffusible effort in fields such as rescue, lifesaving and first aid; environmental information and education or barrier breaking and attention to people with disabilities. For these awards, the ADEAC has the support of specialized institutions such as the ONCE or the Polytechnic University in Valencia. Apart from these distinctions, the ADEAC grants the prize O Baia for the Sea and Coastline Defense, awarded for the first time to the SEPRONA of the Civil Guard for their efforts on the Prestige disaster.