The South African National Park (SANParks) announced in a statement that the Wilderness Beach part of the Garden Route National Park has been chosen as the first beach in a National Park area to be conferred with a Blue Flag Beach status.
This is according to Jill Bunding-Venter, Regional General Manager for the Garden Route National Park, who said the beach was awarded the Blue Flag status after a rigorous process that involved planning and preparation to be on the nominee list. There were 36 applicants and Wilderness is the big winner and made history in the process.
She said this has really been a long and hard journey for the entire team and competing with a host of 36 other applicants has put much more pressure on the team. “We worked very hard to get this flag “…and we will be hoisting it very proudly.”
The Park celebrated the achievement at the Salinas Restaurant, located at the beach on Thursday, 15 November 2012. The flag was flown in by a paraglider and then hoisted at exactly 17H00, by the Executive Mayor of the Eden District Municipality, Wessie van der Westhuizen and the General Manager of the Park.
“We are very proud of the status achieved by the Wilderness beach, there will be a lot of positive spin offs associated with the new status, as well as a lot of responsibilities, but we are up for the challenge”, said Bunding-Venter.
Blue Flag is an international coastal management programme, and it looks for better water quality, safety measures, educational as well as environmental management. Nominations are then given to the Wildlife Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA). The organization then makes a formal announcement once a decision has been made.
Reynold ”Rey” Thakhuli
General Manager: PR, Media and Stakeholder Relations
Tel : 012 426 5170; Cell: 073 373 3999
Tel: 012 426 5315; Cell: 083 673 6974
General Manager: Garden Route National Park
Tel: 044 3025600; Cell: 0836405297