The Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature -Blue Flag coordinators for Greece- announced a steady increase in Greek Blue Flag beaches with 430 in 2008 compared with 428 in 2007 and 411 in 2006. This puts Greece in second place amongst 40 participating countries with Spain leading the way with 455 beaches and 72 marinas. There was a small decrease in Greek marinas awarded this year with only eight marinas being accredited with the blue flag compared with nine in 2007. In total, the international committee awarded 2,632 beaches and 621 marinas.
The Blue Flag is an international annual program run by the Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) with the aim of keeping beaches clean, making them safer for swimming and protecting their natural environment. The Blue Flag works towards sustainable development of beaches and marinas through 29 strict criteria dealing with water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management and safety. It incorporates environmental education and information for the public, decision makers and tour operators.