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Gov't gives additional NIS 8m. for stream rehab
By SHARON UDASIN
19/12/2012
The Environmental Ministry will invest more money in rehabilitating polluted rivers and streams.
 
The Environmental Protection Ministry will invest an additional NIS 8 million in rehabilitating polluted rivers and streams throughout the country, the ministry announced on Wednesday morning.

The latest allocation will supplement already existing ministry investments in this area, which amount to a total of NIS 170m. and have allowed for the rehabilitation of heavily polluted waterways such as the Alexander River, the Yarkon River, the Taninim Stream, the Shikma Stream and the Tabor Stream, among others. In addition to the NIS 170m. dedicated to various rivers and streams throughout the country, approximately NIS 220m. has gone into the ongoing rehabilitation of the Kishon River, while another NIS 300m. has gone into that of the Beersheba River and the transformation of its environs into a metropolitan park, according to the ministry.

With its newest investment, the ministry will be granting priority to the weakest local authorities and cities in the periphery in an effort to transform polluted waterways into places of economic leverage for the regions that will lead to increased property values, the ministry said.

“Along with the restoration work carried out already in the Kishon and the Yarkon, we have expanded the river rehabilitation to streams in the periphery and are cleaning up rivers that have been contaminated for decades, returning them to the public as recreation and leisure hubs for the whole family,” said Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan.

The rehabilitation projects, which should attract domestic tourism and catalyze further economic initiatives, should be completed within three years, according to the ministry.

Specific details of the rehabilitation plans include educational community activities, reviving local vegetation, infrastructure repair, bike path creation, ecological restoration and planting along the stream.

By conserving unique habitats and restoring ones that exist no more, the rehabilitation will encourage the existence of high-quality open spaces sandwiched between the country’s many urban areas, the ministry explained.

“In this way, centers of recreation and leisure in nature will be created for the whole family across the country, especially in places where up until today streams served as a neglected ‘backyard.’”
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