Israel’s announcement that it will create a new network of land and sea parks in order to protect its coastal escarpment is a boon for beach-lovers too. A harbinger of what might happen should the Gaza artificial island project take root, Israel’s coastal erosion is an ecological and safety hazard. To make up for years of neglect, the government will pump $144 million into a restoring a total of just over eight miles of beachfront along the Mediterranean Sea. Under the plan, bathing areas will also be expanded.
An inter-ministerial team led by the Prime Minister’s office concluded that the new parks will not only save the escarpment from escalated erosion, but will also protect human life and property and expand state lands. Several archaeological sites will also be preserved including Apollonia and Tel Ashkelon.
Along the coast of Netanya, Herzliya, and Ashekelon, 45 kilometers of escarpment are at risk of collapse. Although erosion is a natural process, it has been exacerbated by human activities such as marina construction and climate change. Experts claim the escarpment could lose approximately 50 meters of its width over the next 50-100 years.
The escarpment will be reinforced by channeling sand to the beaches and constructing breakwaters.
Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said in a press release that “Rehabilitating the coastal escarpment will expand beach areas, which will remain open to the public and facilitate the safe use of the escarpment areas.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu seconded that motion, adding that a long-neglected problem will soon be rectified so that Israel’s beaches can be used safely.
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