Among the resorts getting ready is Latvia's third-largest city, Liepāja, on the south-western coast. Liepaja will launch its blue-flagged beach season this week, with the necessary beach equipment already in place to provide free access to the beach and services available to swimmers and holidaymakers, Aigars Štāls, a representative of the Municipal Administration of Liepaja told Latvian Radio on May 14.
There are also new boardwalks up to 300 meters long, which will be more comfortable and wider, though the installation of new toilets and changing booths has proved challenging.
"Changing booths cannot be left too close to the sea, as shorelines change due to tides and storms,” Štāls observed.
Liepāja first received the coveted Blue Flag status in 2001 has been receiving its Blue Flag since 2001, but in order to retain it the public is being asked to pay attention to waste and in particular plastic waste, which has become a hot environmental topic worldwide.
"The small waste that is found on the beach - cigarette butts, small plastic waste - is a problem that is being much more focused on, not only in the Blue Flag program, but also among the European Union in general. We hope that the adoption of the directive on the ban on disposable plastic containers will improve this situation. We will need to pay more attention to it in the future, ” said Liepāja's environmental department director Dace Liepniece.
The beach is undergoing changes to improve safety, and another small rescue tower has been moved to another place. To further improve safety there will be brighter colors used in the sea and larger swimming areas.
Considering that the number of holidaymakers from Lithuania and other countries is increasing every year in Liepāja in the summer, the beach will also be cleaned more often than hitherto.
“Cleaning takes place on a 6 kilometer stretch from May 1 to September 30. It is an area from the Southern Pier to the city border. Now we will also clean the beach on Sundays and holidays,” said Aigars Štāls.
Along with daily cleaning and other work in the beach season, the municipality plans reconstructino and renovation works for the beach and adjacent areas, to be funded by the European Union. some have already been approved.
“If everything goes well with tenders, next year we can start working... There would be brand new beach amenities - showers, benches, toilets, and so on,” Štāls said.
Officially, the beach season in Liepāja will start on May 15th. The safety of the swimmers will be taken care of by eight lifeguards.
If you'd like to see the beach at Liepāja for yourself, this clever panoramic view will give you a taste of what to expect.