Ministry Triples Budget for Clean Coast Program, Will Invest NIS 8.6m to Clean Undeclared Beaches Across Israel
The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) has published a Call for Proposals from local authorities, for its Clean Coast Program. The ministry will be allocating NIS 8.6 million to local authorities this year, triple the previous budget. Local authorities that receive financial support will be required to clean the beaches of various kinds of waste, including marine waste that is swept into Israel from nearby countries.

The Clean Coast Program is aimed at cleaning litter from Israel’s unauthorized beaches – those where swimming is forbidden because there are no lifeguards. While local authorities are actually responsible for the cleanliness of all beaches, the MoEP developed the program in 2005 because it found that unauthorized beaches were not being maintained.

The 2017 Call for Proposals ensures that financial support will only be given for the cleanup of undeclared beaches that are accessible to all using a cleaning machine or manual labor. The local authority that receives funding will be obligated to clean the coast at least three times a week throughout the year, or more often in the case of authorities with beaches that are exceptionally dirty. (Those authorities can receive additional support.)

Environmental Protection Minister Zeev Elkin: "​The MoEP continues to work to make the beaches of Israel accessible to the public, both by making sure beaches are kept open and by helping to clean the beaches, with an emphasis on the social periphery. I am pleased that my struggles in the last budget discussions have borne fruit, and I’ve succeeded in increasing the ministry’s budget and tripling the budget earmarked for this issue. The beaches are a unique meeting point between man and the marine environment, and we are working to maintain their quality."

Deputy Minister Yaron Mazuz: "With the start of the swimming season, I am happy to be able to bring the Clean Beach Program to the municipalities. We all know there is a problem with dirt and pollution on Israel’s beaches, a phenomenon that affects both beachgoers and the environment. The MoEP has therefore decided to triple the budget for cleaning up the beaches, including those that are undeclared, in order to help even the local authorities that have difficulty maintaining the cleanliness of beaches. With the establishment of this program, I hope that this summer the citizens of Israel will be able to swim on clean beaches."

MoEP Director General Yisrael Dancziger: "The phenomenon of marine litter and garbage on beaches is a global one, and is felt on Israel’s shores. It creates heavy economic, social, health, and environmental issues. We have led the discussion regarding increased budgeting of the [Clean Coast] Program in order to significantly reduce the risks to the public and the environment, and we have created a new mechanism that will help coastal authorities that don’t have enough resources."

Funding will be based on the socio-economic ranking of local authorities:

  1. The poorest authorities – those ranked in "clusters 1 to 5" of the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) ranking – will receive 90% of the cost of cleaning one kilometer of coastline for one day.
  2. Authorities ranked in clusters 6 to 10 in the CBS ranking will receive 56% of the cost of cleaning one kilometer of coastline for one day.

Local authorities have until July 16, 2017 to submit proposals.

Learn more about Israel’s Clean Coast Program.

The MoEP, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, and EcoOcean are inviting the public to take part in its Man and the Sea Week activities. The week began on June 2, 2017, and includes cleanup and awareness activities throughout Israel. Man and the Sea Week is organized in coordination with Clean Seas, an international effort to clean up beaches throughout the world.