Environment Watch: Herzliya says no to transfer ... of sand

The city doesn't want to move sand from its northern beaches to its disappearing southern beaches, preferring to use available funds for a new promenade.

Herzliya's Greens are demanding that the city use its NIS 500,000 beach rehabilitation fund to transfer sand from the city's southern beaches to its disappearing northern ones, reports the Hebrew weekly Ha'ir-Tzomet Hasharon. The northern beaches - Hasharon, Sidney Ali and Apollonia - have been narrowing steadily since the marina began operating in 1995, and in the past year the sand has disappeared entirely in several sections. According to the report, the Herzliya council agreed a year ago to a request by members of the Green faction to set up a beach rehabilitation fund, although no specific aims of the fund were detailed. Some NIS 500,000 was allocated for the fund in the city's 2007 budget, and now the Greens are saying the money should be used to transfer sand from the widest parts of southern Herzliya beaches such as Acadia to the narrowest parts of the northern beaches. Herzliya's marina has long caused controversy, with surveys of the area showing that it blocks the natural flow of sand northwards along Israel's coastline. Green party member Yoel Hadira said no other beachside city in the world would have agreed to give up two kilometers of prime coastline for a marina as Herzliya had, and now all the city's beaches were in danger. "This is a huge financial, social and environmental loss," he said. But the city's response was terse - and apparently negative. "The money exists, and will be used toward the promenade," a municipal spokesman said.