A cliff north of Herzliya 370.
(photo credit: Sharon Udasin)
The Socioeconomic Cabinet approved a plan on Tuesday to establish a governmental
company for coastal cliff protection, the Environmental Protection Ministry
The new company will design, launch and maintain defense
structures to prevent the collapse of coastal cliffs, adhering to a NIS 500
million to be allocated in the coming years. Each year, Israel’s Mediterranean
coastal cliffs are losing about 40 to 50 centimeters to erosion, and their
potential collapse could endanger human lives as well as cost billions of
shekels in damages, the ministry said.
“In order to speed up the
prevention of cliff collapse, it is necessary to concentrate all efforts and
operate from a national perspective,” said Environmental Protection Minister
Gilad Erdan. “The new company will bring an end to beach destruction and its
activities will protect the lives of swimmers.”
corporation, officially to be called The Government Company for the Protection
of Mediterranean Coastal Cliffs, Ltd., will plan and implement defense
mechanisms for the cliffs, such as placing breakwaters along the shores.
Breakwaters, according to the ministry, reduce the impact of water against the
cliffs and thereby decrease the likelihood of collapse. In addition, the company
will also monitor the activities of local authorities, which are responsible for
establishing on-land protective measures for the cliffs.
In recent years,
the rate of cliff collapse has gradually accelerated, mainly due to the
construction of marinas and other structures along the beaches. The destruction
potentially caused as a result of the erosion could not only be extremely
costly, but could also harm heritage sites and tourism infrastructure, the
Due to the national nature of the project and the need to
expedite its implementation, establishing a government company was crucial, the
Before the cabinet’s decision on Tuesday, Society for
the Protection of Nature in Israel CEO Moshe Pakman and Life and Environment CEO
Naor Yerushalmi had written a letter to the ministers sitting on the cabinet
calling for their support of the company.
“Coastal cliff collapse is an
ever-increasing problem over the the years,” they wrote.
government company for such a unique issue is important, as is including six
public representatives among the company directors – with one a representative
of the environmental organizations, they said.
“Handling the project on
coastal cliff protection is an issue of high environmental sensitivity, and
therefore, it is very important that a representative of environmental
organizations will be a public representative on the board,” the CEOs added.