Marine charity says the wider community must act to clean up the North West's dirty seas

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 17 September 2012

Marine charity says the wider community must act to clean up the North West’s dirty seas As stricter bathing guidelines loom more must be done to improve the worst performing part of the UK coast for bathers MCS is today (17th September 2012) telling a conference in Blackpool that the town’s future as an iconic seaside resort is under threat because not enough is being done to solve the problem of bathing water contamination.

Marine charity says the wider community must act to clean up the North West’s dirty seas As stricter bathing guidelines loom more must be done to improve the worst performing part of the UK coast for bathers MCS is today (17th September 2012) telling a conference in Blackpool that the town’s future as an iconic seaside resort is under threat because not enough is being done to solve the problem of bathing water contamination. MCS Pollution Programme Manager, Dr Robert Keirle, will tell the ‘Turning Tides’ summit - a day long conference organised by United Utilities, Blackpool Council and the Environment Agency to tackle the problems of poor water quality along the Fylde coast - the role of communities is key and finding solutions should not just be left at the door of the water company. “Everyone must be in it to fix it. MCS believes that everyone from dog walkers to residents, visitors to farmers have all got a part to play if the waters off Blackpool are to appear regularly on our Good Beach Guide ‘Recommended’ list. We must be aspirational in our approach. ‘Blue Flag Blackpool’ must be our aim and with changes in the European Directive on the horizon we have no choice but to work together, ditch the blame game and create a Blackpool that swimmers will flock to.” MCS says that poor water quality along part of the Fylde coast has been an issue for decades. “There are no Blue Flag beaches along the North West coast. It is the worst performing part of the UK coastline when it comes to water quality,” says Dr Keirle. “The new European standards on water quality mean we have to act now before it’s too late and we see closed signs on beaches which will spell disaster to our strong tourism economy in the area.” “Blackpool used to the be the jewel in the UK’s crown of coastal resorts and, in the current economic climate, the ‘staycation’ is more and more attractive to hard-pressed families, and there is no reason at all why Blackpool can’t regain its former glory” says Dr Keirle. “In order to do so, we must restore pride in the resort, and all communities must focus on the long-term goal of improving bathing water quality for the safety and economic security of Blackpool and its visitors. By crystallising our thoughts and actions around the vision the strapline ‘Blue Flag Blackpool’ I believe this is possible.”

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