Join Blue Flag

Interested in Joining the Blue Flag Family in the US?

The Blue Flag designation is an eco-award for beaches, marinas, and tourism boats. Which operates in over 46 countries and has awarded over 46 hundred sites. The program has been internationally operated since 2001 and is a collaborative effort between local managers, state and federal agencies, tourism partners, and the communities in which the flag flies.

Beaches, marinas, and boats around the world flying the blue flag are not only meeting excellent standards within their own communities, they are a global community of practitioners. We are excited to work with you on joining this community. Click on the links below to find specific information about the award process for each type of award.

Blue Flag USA is responsible for sites in the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. If you are interested in learning about programs in the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, or other countries check out the network of National Operators or contact staff for more information.


The US beach award is given to beaches who comply with 33 criteria in the categories of environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, and safety and services.


The marina award is given to sites who complete 38 criteria in the areas of environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, safety and services, social responsibility, and social and community involvement.


The Blue Flag can be awarded to a number of different boats. Tour boats, tall ships, and individual boat owners can all participate by meeting different levels of criteria.

Benefits of Blue Flag

The Blue Flag award brings more than a physical flag to the communities and personnel who work daily to meet criteria. For more specific examples and how the flag can help your beach achieve its goals contact staff.


  • International and National third party recognition for management and daily decisions
  • Provides a framework for new managers
  • Creates and strengthens partnerships


  • Promotes public understanding and education on the environment
  • Improves environmental conditions
  • Increases cleanliness


  • Increases local and international tourism
  • Impacts visitor decision making


  • Access to the largest international eco-award
  • Compete for eco-conscious tourists
  • Be known fr innovative, collaborative, and sustainable solutions