Children clean up Lake Kinneret

10 kayaks full of kids collect the hard-to-reach trash filling the Kinneret's lagoons as end-of-summer task.

jordan river cleanup 248.88 (photo credit: SPNI)
jordan river cleanup 248.88
(photo credit: SPNI)
School children from the Jordan River Regional Council and Alonei Habashan area took on one last mission before summer's end - to pick up the trash that has cluttered the tributaries of Lake Kinneret. With this in mind, 10 kayaks full of kids set out upon the waters on Tuesday to collect the hard-to-reach trash filling the Kinneret's lagoons. This environmental volunteerism project is part of a joint initiative by the Environmental Protection Ministry, the Union of Kinneret Cities (Igud Arim Kinneret) and the Kinneret administration. The campaign, called 'Going clean, it's our Kinneret,' aims to keep the lake's shores and water free of trash, which blights the landscape and threatens the quality of Israel's major fresh water source. Every summer, Israeli vacationers leave their garbage on the banks of the tributaries after their picnics. The trash piles up, falls into the streams and gets sucked downstream into the Kinneret's lagoons. In response, the ministry and its partners organized a tailor-made cleanup operation, sending kayaks full of pupils, towing other rubber boats, to navigate the waterways while picking up the garbage. The preservation of Lake Kinneret is once again at the forefront of environmental concern due to its continuously dropping water levels. As a result of the serious lack of rain, the Kinneret is dangerously close to the black line which, if crossed, would lead to irreversible ecological damage. To stave off that possibility, the Water Authority has reportedly ordered Mekorot, the national water carrier, to pump just a third of the normal amount of water from the Kinneret. That means that his year, just 132 million cubic meters will be pumped, Haaretz reported on Tuesday, citing agricultural sources who were recently informed of the order by the Water Authority. The goal, apparently, is to match the Kinneret's water levels from last year. Right now, the water levels are 42 cm lower than they were at this time last year, according to the Haaretz report. Israel has been extremely hard hit by five years of drought and inadequate rainfall. Predictions for this coming winter are still unclear as El Nino looms in the Pacific Ocean and could generate extreme weather conditions. Whether that means more drought or a very generous year of rain is yet to be seen. Saving the Kinneret has also entered the digital realm. McCann Digital's employees recently opened a Twitter account that will send out frequent updates of the lake's water levels. They received permission from the Water Authority to link to its databases, which track the lake's water level. The project was a volunteer effort by the company's employees. The Twitter account can be accessed at: