Eilat Cleans up its Coast in Bid to Save Coral Reef

October 15, 2019

by: Ilana Curiel

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The coral reef along the coastline in Eilat

Tuesday, 15 October 2019 | Eilat municipality recently completed a coastal cleanup operation, evacuating all buildings and clearing tons of waste and debris from the Red Sea coastline.

The operation, which began a year and a half ago in collaboration with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, set out to improve the bathing experience for visitors at the beach and save the coastline’s underwater ecosystem.

The 2-kilometer (1.24-mile) coastal strip is very ecologically sensitive due to the presence of the coral reef just meters from the coastline.

Assaf Habary from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority says the massive human presence at the beach was detrimental to the coast’s ecosystem.

“Unlike other places around the world, Eilat’s coral reef is located only a few feet from the coastline and is very shallow,” says Habary.

“Any change on the beach affects it negatively,” he says. “The cleanup takes the pressure off the ecosystem.”

For years, the southern coastal strip in Eilat has been intolerably crowded.

Tens of thousands of visitors frequented the beach strip, parking caravans, setting up tents and some even building houses on the coastline and renting them out.

Parking vehicles along the beach is no longer allowed, and offenders will be fined and removed immediately. However, bathing is still allowed.

Posted on October 15, 2019

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on October 5, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

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