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High level of excellence for Northern Ireland’s beaches once again

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Northern Ireland continues to have some of the best bathing water quality in Europe.

In 2015, all 23 of Northern Ireland’s identified bathing waters met new stricter European standards for bathing water quality.

Fourteen of the 23 met the highest EU standard, being classed as having “Excellent” water quality. A further seven were classed as having good water quality and two as sufficient.

None of Northern Ireland’s bathing waters were classed as having poor water quality for 2015.

Welcoming the findings Mark H Durkan said: “It is very welcome for locals and visitors to our shores to see once again that beaches in the North are among some of the best in Europe for bathing water quality.

“Once again we have had another wet summer and we all know that bathing waters can be vulnerable to heavy rainfall. In spite of this, all of our bathing waters met the much stricter European standards that were introduced this year.

“Last year we saw one of our bathing waters at Carnlough fail to meet the old, less stringent European standards so it is particularly good to see that Carnlough has met the new, tighter standards in 2015.

“As always, there is no room for complacency and I know that through joined up working between Government and all of its stakeholders, we will continue to maintain and, where possible, improve upon this high level of excellence.”

The results were announced today at the eleventh Good Beach Summit, hosted by DOE’s Marine Division. The Good Beach Summits bring together all stakeholders from across Government, Non-Government Organisations (NGO’s), community groups and the third sector who have a role in managing Northern Ireland’s beaches.

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