Europe's beaches clean, but France lagging: study

May 23, 2012
Scouts take part in a clean-up event on the Omaha beach on Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, northwest France, in April 2008. Europe's beaches are generally clean but France is lagging behind other tourist destinations in the south of the continent, a report from European Environment Agency (EEA) showed on Wednesday.

Europe's beaches are generally clean but France is lagging behind other tourist destinations in the south of the continent, a report from European Environment Agency (EEA) showed on Wednesday.

"Good news if you're planning a beach holiday in Europe this summer -- 92.1 percent of bathing waters in the European Union now meet the minimum water quality standards set by the Bathing Water Directive," the EEA said in a statement accompanying its annual report.

The report compiled water analyses carried out in 2011 at more than 22,000 bathing sites at beaches, rivers and lakes.

Among the sites meeting the minimum water quality standards were the Serpentine Lake in London, which will host several Olympics events, including the Marathon Swim and the swimming section of the triathlon.

Meanwhile, "Cyprus, Croatia, Malta and Greece had excellent reports on their bathing water sites, all with more than 90 percent of bathing water sites meeting the most stringent guide values (excellent quality)," the EEA said.

At the opposite end of the scale, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Latvia, Luxembourg and Belgium had "relatively low proportions of sites meeting the strict guide values, especially as regards inland waters."

Spain, Italy and Portugal had more than 80 percent of sites with excellent water quality, it added.

The report noted that in France, home to 16 percent of bathing sites in the EU, only two-thirds were of excellent quality while 88 percent met the minimum mandatory water quality requirements.

"In several countries there is still a problem with pollution from agriculture and , so we need to see more efforts to ensure safe and for the public," EEA executive director Jacqueline McGlade said.

Explore further: Study: Europe faces severe climate changes

Related Stories

EU agency: air pollution costs exceed $134 billion

November 24, 2011

(AP) -- Air pollution isn't just harmful - it's expensive, resulting in health care and environmental costs of more than euro100 billion ($130 billion) in 2009, the European Union's environment agency said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Ocean acidification makes coralline algae less robust

February 8, 2016

Ocean acidification (the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth's oceans, caused by the uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere), is affecting the formation of the skeleton of coralline algae which play an important part in marine ...

In the Southern Ocean, a carbon-dioxide mystery comes clear

February 3, 2016

Twenty thousand years ago, when humans were still nomadic hunters and gatherers, low concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere allowed the earth to fall into the grip of an ice age. But despite decades of research, ...

Online shopping might not be as green as we thought

February 5, 2016

Logic suggests that online shopping is "greener" than traditional shopping. After all, when people shop from home, they are not jumping into their cars, one by one, to travel to the mall or the big box store.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.