Israel’s Mediterranean beaches are an attraction for tourists and locals alike. The sand is soft, the water is usually pretty clear, the weather is great… but some beaches can be cleaner (and greener) than others. And the Environmental Protection Ministry plans on telling you which beaches are which. Starting this month, the Ministry has begun a new program, called the Blue-Green Glag, to rate beaches on a scale of zero to four.
The program is inspired by the Blue Flag program, which is a voluntary eco-label awarded to over 3450 beaches and marinas in 41 countries across Europe, South Africa, northern Africa, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean. Countries in the Middle East that are already part of the Blue Flag program include Morocco and Turkey.
The Environmental Protection Ministry will be ranking beaches with the following criteria:
- Water quality
- Beach cleanliness
- Coastal facilities
- Disabled access
- Sewage connection
- Public option
(The sewage connection criterion in particular is a touchy subject for Israeli beaches, since there are often sewage leaks into the ocean.)
Whereas the rankings have already begun this month, they will only be continued until the end of the swimming season in October. The criteria will then be expanded for next year’s bathing season.
Image via: Shai Barzilay
Read more about beachy environmentalism::
Palmachim Beach Campaign: “We Have Won”
World Ocean Day – 6 Tips to Clean the Seas
EcoOcean Opening a New Marine Research and Education Center This Week