The Ministry of the Environment launched a long-term project entitled "Clean Coast". Its aim: to solve the problem of litter on Israel's beaches, a third of which is washed ashore from the sea and the rest left by vacationers and bathers. The project seeks to promote a variety of solutions to the litter problem along the country's Mediterranean coastline, especially its undeclared beaches - making up some 130 kilometers out of Israel's 190 kilometer-long coastline.
The program is being implemented by the Ministry of the Environment in cooperation with the Nature and Parks Authority and the Union of Local Authorities in Israel. The Finance Ministry has agreed to allocate NIS 3 million a year for the next three years for the project.
Components of the "Clean Coast" Project
The program includes several complementary components aimed at generating a change in public awareness of the importance of beach cleanliness:
- Routine cleanup activities by local authorities.
- Enforcement against polluters of the coasts.
- Educational activities in the country's schools and youth movements.
- Information and publicity activities.
The aim of the first phase of the project is to obtain the commitment of local authorities to clean up undeclared beaches in their jurisdiction at least twice a week during the summer and several times a month during the rest of the year. Inspectors of the Nature and Parks Authority and of the Ministry of the Environment are responsible for supervising the cleanups. Enforcement activities are initiated against local authorities which fail to clean their coastlines.
Volunteers and the "Clean Coast" Project
In order to enlarge the circle of participants in the "Clean Coast" project, the Ministry of the Environment has called on the public to help establish a cadre of volunteers, who will be guided by the Marine and Coastal Environment Division, and will take an active part in the project.
"Clean Coast" volunteers are specially trained in such areas as implementation of the Maintenance of Cleanliness Law, risks to marine life from coastal litter, and even marine pollution treatment. Volunteers devote a minimum of 8 hours per month for "Clean Coast" activities and are equipped with both certificate and uniform.
Volunteer activities include:
- Help in supervising "Clean Coast" projects;
- Education and enforcement activities along the coasts on weekends;
- Help in enforcement campaigns;
- Help in clean-up campaigns and informal education;
- Promotion of community action