For the seventh consecutive year, Tulemar Beach has been named one of the cleanest beaches in Costa Rica by the country’s Ecological Blue Flag certification program. A national committee annually evaluates the area’s beaches based on water quality, sanitary facilities, waste disposal, tourist safety, participation in environmental education in schools, and community involvement in beach maintenance, among other criteria.
The Ecological Blue Flag program is sponsored by the Water and Sewer Institute’s National Water Laboratory, known in Costa Rica as “AyA.” Led by a national committee, an annual evaluation of the beaches and communities that have chosen to participate in the program is used to determine if sanitation and ecological standards are being met. Participants who earn a cumulative score of 90% in all areas are awarded an Ecological Blue Flag of excellence. Tulemar Beach is among the 122 beaches to have submitted applications this year.
“We are very pleased to have been awarded the Ecological Blue Flag for the seventh year in a row,” says Dave Houck, owner of Tulemar Vacation Homes, a vacation villa rental company located within walking distance of Tulemar Beach. “Our staff here at Tulemar puts forth great effort to keep Tulemar Beach as clean and eco-friendly as possible for our guests and the many animals that call Tulemar home. Ensuring that our activities as a vacation villa rental company are helping the environment, rather than harming it, is a top priority for us. Costa Rica is a natural paradise and we want to keep it that way for the enjoyment of both present and future generations.”
In addition to the annual evaluation, those awarded with the Blue Flag are monitored every month to make sure they remain in compliance with the program. Participation has increased steadily since the program’s launch and has expanded to also evaluate and award the Ecological Blue Flag to deserving communities, schools, and natural protected areas, among other categories. Established first in Spain in 1986 and then in Costa Rica in 1996, more than 30 countries have adopted the Blue Flag program, including Panama, Guatemala, and Peru.