A Surprising Beach Development
A cross-border project of the European Union has found that Israel is doing a good job protecting its shores. The Mediterranean is a central area for shipping development and tourism and is also one of the most populated shorelines in the world. Professor Rachelle Alterman, the founder and coordinator of the Mare Nostrum (“Our Sea”) project, has stated that in terms of planning and construction, Israel is doing a better job protecting its coasts than are some other countries on the Mediterranean, except perhaps France. Whereas in Israel there is a clear prohibition of construction 100 meters from the coastline, in countries such as Spain, Greece, and Turkey, coastal regulations are more lax. According to Alterman, the passage of coastal legislation in Israel nine years ago, mostly due to the efforts of Israel’s environmental movement, has been a turning point in Israel’s protection against coastal pollution. Despite Israel’s success in coastal protection, environmentalists continue to push for preservation of coastal lines in the face of future development plans.