Shavei Zion named Israel’s best beach in annual rankings

The Blue-Green flag campaign ranks the quality of the nation’s beaches and is updated every two weeks throughout the swimming season.

May 13, 2011 04:50
2 minute read.
Handicapped bathers at an accessible beach

Disabled at the beach 311. (photo credit: Zion Sade)

The initial results of the Blue-Green Flag campaign, which ranks the quality of the nation’s beaches and is updated every two weeks throughout the swimming season, was released on Thursday.

The Environmental Protection Ministry initiative’s rankings – determined by the Environmental, Health and Interior ministries – include quality of water, cleanliness of the beach, parking, handicapped accessibility, beach facilities, sewage connections, public opinion and the considerations of the ministries, a statement said.

In first, ministry to rank nation’s beaches

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The campaign follows in the footsteps of the international Blue Flag Program, which has been rating beach quality all over the world since its 1987 launch in Europe.

“The ranking will bring maximal transparency to the level and quality of beaches in Israel, which will lead to an upgrade in service provided to the public at the beaches,” Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said a statement.

The joint-ministerial committee assigned each beach a mark of “0” to “3,” with 0 being the lowest and 3 the highest.

Among the worst offenders – the only beaches to receive rankings of “1” – were Acre’s Hatmarim Beach (earning a score of 55 percent for overall quality), Tel Aviv’s Aviv Beach (57%), Bat Yam’s Haselah Beach No. 1 (58%) and Emek Hefer Regional Council’s Neurim Beach (60%). The only beaches to receive rankings of zero were those that aren’t currently open.

The top two beaches – both earned marks of “3” – were Mate Asher Regional Council’s Shavei Zion Beach (98%) and Haifa’s Dado Zamir Beach (97%).

Other beaches that achieved a status of “3,” but at slightly lower quality percentages, included all beaches ranked in Ashkelon, Eilat’s Nifrad-Mifratz Hashemesh Beach, five out of seven Ashdod beaches, nine out of 13 Tel Aviv-Yafo beaches, five out of six Herzliya beaches, four out of the five open beaches ranked in Netanya and six out of the eight open beaches in Haifa.

Throughout the swimming season, the rating will continue to be updated in cooperation with beach managers, and the results will be published ( every two weeks, the Environmental Protection Ministry said.

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