(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Israel joined the International Coastal Cleanup on Sunday for the first time,
launching a week-long beach campaign that will peak Friday at Nahsholim
The goal is to encourage 2,500 volunteers to come out and clean up
the trash that bathers leave behind at 25 beaches along the coast. To that end,
the Environmental Protection Ministry has partnered with NGOs, diving clubs and
other groups to get people to lend a hand.
International Coastal Cleanup
is the brainchild of international NGO Ocean Conservancy. Ocean Conservancy
maintains a worldwide database of the amount of trash on beaches.
events listing can be found on the website of the Environmental Protection
Ministry – www.sviva.gov.il.
Meanwhile, the ministry also revealed the
first rankings under its Blue-Green Flag program which rates beaches based on a
variety of criteria.
The highest ranked beaches were Achziv beach in the
Mateh Asher Regional Council area, and Tel Aviv’s Tel Baruch, Nordau-Metzitzim
and Hilton beaches.
The lowest ranked were the Caesaria Port Beach, which
was closed for a private event, Onot Beach in Netanya and Shefayim Beach in the
Sharon Coast Regional Council Area.
The Blue-Green Flag program ranks
beaches according to the following criteria: water quality, cleanliness of the
beach, parking, disabled access, coastal facilities, sewage connection, public
opinion, and the ministries’ opinions.
For instance, if there is free
parking, then no points are deducted, if there is paid parking then 3 percent is
deducted and if there is no parking then 5% is deducted. Similarly, for the
presence or absence of trash cans every 20 meters, jellyfish or
The goal of the program, which was launched at the beginning of
the month, is to provide the public with more information and to create a
of competition between local authorities to encourage them to maintain
beaches properly. The program will fully deploy for the next bathing
Israel’s program is based on the international Blue Flag
initiative, run by the Denmark-based Foundation for Environmental