Israel's beaches cleanest they have been in 17 years, new report says

The coastal areas of Acre, Haifa, Carmel, Bat Yam and more were the cleanest beaches in Israel throughout 2022.

Israeli soldiers clean tar off the Palmachim beach following an offshore oil spill which drenched most of the Israeli coastline, February 22, 2021 (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH 90)
Israeli soldiers clean tar off the Palmachim beach following an offshore oil spill which drenched most of the Israeli coastline, February 22, 2021
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH 90)

2022 was the cleanest year across Israel's beachfront, according to a report by Israel's Environmental Protection Ministry, summarizing the Clean Coast Plan for 2022.

The report showed that 2022 was the cleanest year since it began in 2005. 81.8% of the public beaches that were labeled "clean" or "very clean" were like that for 70% of the year, compared to 2005, when the beaches were clean for only 19.7% of the year.

The main coastal areas that maintained its beaches were Asher, Acre, Haifa, Tirat HaCarmel, Carmel beach, Bat Yam, Gan Rava and Ashdod. Coastal areas that ranked the least clean throughout 2022 were Ashkelon Municipality, HaSharon beach and Ashkelon beach.

Throughout the year, two rounds of "clean beach index" tests were done every month in 66 sections from all of the open beaches that aren't declared by anyone.

Along with the control of beach cleanliness, the ministry supports a multi-year budget for local authorities with undeclared beaches of up to NIS 26,463,253 to carry out cleaning operations on the beaches.

 AN AERIAL view shows people gathering near a shipping container that was washed up on the shore in Ashkelon, on Wednesday. (credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS) AN AERIAL view shows people gathering near a shipping container that was washed up on the shore in Ashkelon, on Wednesday. (credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

The ministry also supports a budget of up to NIS 6 million to reduce marine waste at the source by creating infrastructures that collect waste on beaches and collect the waste before it reaches the beaches from the surface drains.

What was the Environmental Protection Ministry's plan for 2022?

As part of the ministry's 2022 Clean Coast Plan, the ministry's National Unit for the Protection of the Marine Environment initiated assistance to the authorities in the coastal areas to enforce actions on the beaches during the summer months when most people are at the beaches. It will be done by Israel Police who will accompany inspectors on behalf of the Coastal Authority.

As part of the 2022 enforcement plan, 411 inspection and enforcement operations were reported along the coastal areas, including cities on the Kinneret.)

Approximately 7,355 fines were handed out, and 1,305 were fines for cleaning violations on the beaches.

The ministry launched an informational campaign with actress Niv Sultan for the general public and another specific ad geared toward the ultra-Orthodox and Arab societies as a way to avoid the use of single-use plastic utensils on beaches.

As part of the campaign, the ministry released a video as a way to remind everyone that the use of disposable utensils was common at one point because we didn't understand how much damage is caused by disposable utensils to the environment.

The campaign was top of the YouTube and Ynet advertisements for all of September and won second place for the most effective advertisement, according to the report.