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Tel Aviv, Herzilya beaches ranked the best in the nation

By
June 29, 2011 05:45

TA's Hatzuk Beach North, Herzliya’s Acadia North rank top in this years Environmental Protection Ministry's Blue-Green Flag beach rankings.

A Tel Aviv beach.

Tel Aviv beach_521. (photo credit:Marc Israel Sellem)

Tel Aviv’s Hatzuk Beach North and Herzliya’s Acadia North were ranked the best in the nation in the second round of this year’s Blue-Green Flag beach rankings released by the Environmental Protection Ministry on Wednesday.

The program assigns each beach a pictorial grade of “0” to “3” flags, with 0 being the lowest and 3 being the highest, and a corresponding overall percentage.



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The beach standings, covering June 19 to 26, gave top marks to Hatzuk Beach North and Acadia North, both at 98 percent; Nordau and Metzitzim in Tel Aviv, at 97%; and Herzl in Netanya and Jerusalem in Tel Aviv, at 96%.

This month’s worst offenders were the Separate (religious) Beach in Hadera and Michmoret South in Emek Hefer, at 57%; Sokolov in Nahariya, at 63%; and Olga South in Hadera and Bogroshov in Tel Aviv, at 67%; while Gordon Beach in Tel Aviv remains closed – and therefore unranked – due to pollution.

While still bearing three flags, the season’s initial winner Shavei Zion has moved down to 85% from its original 98%, and the season’s initial worst offender, Acre’s Hatmarim Beach, has jumped from one flag at 55% to three flags at 90%.

Out of the 95 beaches ranked, 63 received three flags, 21 received two flags, two received one flag and six were closed, the Environmental Protection Ministry said in a statement.

An additional category, “Beauty Mark,” which does not assign or contribute to the beaches’ grades, mentions details of locations that have gone above and beyond their requirements – in items such as sports facilities, children’s games and barbecue segments, the ministry added.

The ministry said it was pleased with the marked improvements, noting that many beaches have renovated or installed bathrooms and changing rooms, handicap-accessible paths and drinking fountains.

The ministry’s rankings – determined in collaboration with the Health and Interior ministries as well as an outside contractor – collect data on beach features such as water quality, cleanliness, parking and handicapped accessibility, all of which are updated every two weeks. In its second year, the campaign was inspired by the international Blue Flag program, which has been ranking beach environments globally since its 1987 launch in Europe.
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