Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio beaches waving the Blue Flags again

March 6, 2009

The four beaches at Manuel Antonio National Park have regained their Ecological Blue Flag status, the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications Ministry (MINAET) has announced.

The Costa Rican Water and Sewer Institute (AyA) last month revoked the Blue Flags, which recognize cleanliness and eco-friendliness in the country´s beaches, citing the risk of sewage contamination. But the move was predominately a precautionary measure, as AyA officials said at the time that beaches in the park “remained in good condition.”

Health Minister María Luisa Avila gave MINAET an extension through the end of June to implement the plan, after threatening to close down the park because of the poor sanitary conditions.

The Blue Flags were returned to the park´s beaches after MINAET proposed a plan to rectify the sanitary conditions at the park itself, according to MINAET Vice Minister Jorge Rodríguez. The ministry will install portable bathrooms for tourists while construction begins on new, permanent bathrooms and a sewage treatment facility for the park.

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