Dirty sea threat to iconic status

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MARINE experts are warning Blackpool’s future as an “iconic seaside resort” is under-threat if more is not done to clean up its sea.

The town’s sea has been repeatedly criticised for failing to meet basic standards – and is so polluted it could face closure to bathers if the picture does not drastically change by 2015.

Now, ahead of a key conference to debate the future of the resort’s water, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has called for everyone to pull together and aim for a Blue Flag for Blackpool.

Dr Robert Keirle, MCS pollution programme manager, will address Monday’s Turning Tides conference and said: “Everyone must be in it to fix it.

“We must be aspirational in our approach, Blue Flag Blackpool must be our aim and we have no choice but to work together, ditch the blame game and create a Blackpool swimmers will flock to.”

From 2015 new stricter European standards will come into force which means it will be even harder to meet the minimum standards and Blackpool is at risk of having signs erected warning people not to bathe.

The Turning Tides conference has been organised by United Utilities, Blackpool Council and the Environment Agency and has been designed to bring everyone concerned together to discuss problems with water quality along the Fylde coast.

Among the speakers at the Winter Gardens event will be Blackpool council leader Coun Simon Blackburn and United Utilities CEO Steve Mogford.