The struggle for the marina: Miri Regev pushes, Gila Gamliel tries to stop

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This is perhaps the favorite pastime for Israeli residents during the summer months: laying out a mat on the beach, located within walking distance or driving away from home. But as the population of Israel grows, the available space for the residents around the coastal strip decreases. According to the Planning Administration, out of 196 kilometers of beach, only 50 km are open today for the benefit of the public.

The shores of the Mediterranean are under increasing pressure – industrial fishing, infrastructure and energy facilities, development and construction on the shores, plastic waste, sewage discharge, the eroding coastal cliff and more. A plan discussed this week by the Boltaa (Subcommittee on Planning Issues), for the construction of six new moorings for vessels throughout Israel, may reduce the space even further – each such mooring involves the seizure of a considerable coastal area and days of 500-700 meters.

What-works-with-natural-bays

This is not a new plan, but over the past year it has not been promoted in light of objections – from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and environmental organizations, the State Comptroller who warned of serious environmental consequences of establishing marinas, and officials in the Planning Administration. Recently, a number of local authorities have been exerting more pressure to promote the program in order to make a profit for themselves (on the other hand, no cost-effectiveness has been carried out in Israel that will put the total damage of those marinas on the table).

The mayors, including the mayor of Netanya, Miriam Feierberg, the mayor of Hadera, Zvika Gandelman, and the chairman of the local government, Haim Bibbs, found a sympathetic ear on the issue with the Minister of Transport, Miri Regev. “Globes” received a personal letter sent to Minister Regev this month. The face is Aryeh Deri, without any further correspondence, in which she asks him to act for the rapid promotion of the establishment of the anchorages.

Miri Regev Photo by Tamar Mitzpi

Miri Regev Photo by Tamar Mitzpi

“Aryeh my friend,” Regev writes, “as early as 2016, the existing anchorages were completely filled. Today, Israeli citizens with boats are forced to set foot in vacant moorings throughout the Mediterranean, with professionals estimating more than 1,500 boat owners. I would like your involvement. With the assistance of promoting the TMA and bringing it to fruition soon. Local authorities are eagerly awaiting the approval of the plan so that they can advance detailed plans on the subject. The distress is great and the needs are clear, the time has come to do. I would appreciate your support and help in solving this national problem. “

Only one percent of the population in Israel holds a sailing license, and less of that holds a yacht or boat. According to Regev, the promotion of the new moorings is intended to increase the share of boat tourism in Israel, and to serve the water sports in which interest in it is growing. In fact, according to Regev’s response, this is the main goal of establishing the new anchorages – which, she says, are not going to serve only the richest population. According to her office, “These are not facilities for the rich. The moorings are used by the general public for mooring, recreation, sports and tourism. These moorings are also used to promote water sports for youth in movements such as sea scouts and other clubs, where the importance of water education is unquestionable.”

“Globes” received the position of the director of the Sports Diving Authority, Adam Konstantinovsky, which was written during Regev’s time as Minister of Culture and Sports (under which the authority sits), with opposition to the establishment of the new marinas. “I do not hold the view that it is indeed necessary to build new marinas and expand existing marinas, in order to increase the supply of sports and water education,” writes Konstantinovsky. “In light of the potential harm and uncertainty that exists in the proposed plan, regarding the implications of construction on the long-term marine system, further examination of the reasons for which the plan is required is required.”

Konstantinovsky adds that “most vessels required for maritime education, especially at young ages, do not require actual mooring areas. “Or an extension of a mooring, exceeding the importance of promoting water sports – is not reasonably answered. Therefore, it is not possible to request extensions or construction of new moorings based on this requirement alone.”

“Boat parking lots”

Is the comparison of Regev and the mariners’ demands to other countries correct? In addition to the geographical conditions, the Adam Teva VeDin organization conducted a comparison of the free space per person in several countries. Israeli citizens, in this sense, are pushed back by 2 cm compared to 12.5 cm in Italy, for example (see table). “In terms of the ratio of the number of marinas along the coast, we are already at the high threshold. That is, there are a lot of marinas relatively along our coastline,” says Adv. Eli Ben-Ari, the legal counsel of Adam Teva VeDin.

“There is no justification for stealing more open beach space in favor of boat parking lots. For those who find that we lack boat moorings, and that there is much more demand than supply – it is convenient to ignore the data. In this sense, they are similar to data once presented. To the number of cars, so they claimed more roads were needed. Each new mooring will come at the expense of something else. “

The Ministry of Environmental Protection and other environmental organizations, such as the Society for the Protection of Nature, also strongly oppose the construction of the new marinas, and believe that additional mooring stations can be addressed within the existing moorings. The Minister of Environmental Protection, Gila Gamliel, addressed Minister Deri ahead of the Bolta’a hearing, explaining that according to her ministry’s professional position, the moorings will have a definite negative effect on the sand transport regime along the coast. The beaches in the area will become narrower and the coastal cliff may be damaged. There will be no escape and the state will have to build breakwaters that will change the nature of the beaches.

Gila Gamliel / Photo: Alex Kolomoisky, Yedioth Ahronoth

Gila Gamliel / Photo: Alex Kolomoisky, Yedioth Ahronoth

In ink at Bolneta, Galit Cohen, deputy director of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, said that in the vicinity of the marinas, it was necessary to deal with the protection of the cliffs, so that they would not collapse, at a cost of tens of millions of shekels. She also added that the operation of the mooring system involves multiple infrastructures, and that on the issue of water sports, “we have not seen that we have given an adequate response in the current moorings, and this can be resolved within the existing framework.”

Past experience shows that for the construction of new marinas, the public pays twice. One time, when an open beach is taken from it and a budget is allocated for bills for the construction of the moorings, and the second time when it pays from the public budget for the rehabilitation of the moorings’ damage. This is what happened in Ashkelon and Herzliya, which are still dealing with damage – which is not entirely rehabilitable.

“The proposed NPA does not address the economic and environmental implications of establishing marine and land defenses, which will be required to ensure the width of the coast and cliff in dealing with anchorage damages,” Gamliel concludes. “These are high financial and environmental costs. About the developers.

“Future needs and demands for open beaches used by the general public should be prioritized, as opposed to the desire to provide additional moorings for a specific and limited public, in a way that irreversibly prevents other use of the beach.”

According to a calculation made by the Society for the Protection of Nature, while in the days of the establishment of the state there were about 30 cm of beach per resident, today there is 1.7 cm per resident. When space is limited and ecological damage may also be significant, mooring constitutes irreversible land use, and authorities must internalize that future demand will not be met, not even in the field of marine education.

According to the Society for the Protection of Nature, Marina is destroying the ecosystem in the coastal strip where it is being built, including severe damage to sea turtle spawning sites. Moreover, the construction of a marina also involves the construction of breakwaters to the north or south of it, in order to protect these beaches from weathering and destruction. But these breakwaters cause massive and extensive coverage in the sand of the strip of sea near the coast, which in a significant part of the shores of Israel contains coastal rocks that are a particularly rich marine habitat.

Herzliya as a test case

Prof. Dov Tzvieli, from the Faculty of Marine Sciences at the Ruppin Academic Center, has been researching the subject of beaches for many years and warned 20 years ago of the process of narrowing the sandy coastal strip, due to the construction of the Herzliya Marina. Tzvi’eli believes that the construction of additional marinas could have dramatic consequences.

“Marinas sound like something very romantic – yachts, restaurants, docks, seagulls. There are many marinas in the Mediterranean such as Greece, Spain, France and Italy, and as tourists we visit them as part of the experience of being abroad. However, most marinas in Europe are built in natural bays and on rocky and deep beaches, and not necessarily along sandy and straight beaches like in Israel.

“Greece is a great example of the difference – it has over 3,000 islands, and almost everywhere it is possible in a simple way that does not harm the environment to close a small cove protected by discoveries, and build a marina. We have a straight, sandy coastline that is extremely sensitive to change, and dynamic sea weather.

“As a result, anything built around the beach will change our beaches. It’s a blessing and a curse: it’s fun to put a towel on a sandy beach. On the other hand, if you interfere a bit with the current that drives the sand along the beach, you destroy the delicate texture. “There are a lot of stakeholders, and everyone is right. The question is what are the right balances, and what is right to have in the country. Marinas is a clear example of environmental injustice.”

How have the existing marinas affected our coast?

“Every marina, like any breakwater or other structure that juts out to the sea from the sandy shoreline, adversely affects the sandy beaches and cliffs adjacent to it. The marina never ends with you building the marina. Herzliya is a great example of a modern marina built on an amazing sandy beach section About a mile long. Maybe it’s fun to walk around, there are cafes, there are restaurants, there’s a special atmosphere. But there’s a price: they had to build three detached breakwaters north of the marina, and they changed the natural beach in front of them.

“It was a great and straight natural beach about 50 meters wide, just amazing. The cliff was in good condition. It looked like a dune rising from the sand. As a result of the construction of the marina, a section of beach about 2.5 km north of the detached breakwaters receded From 60%. The shore shrank, and the shoreline profile in the water became steeper, resulting in waves breaking closer to shore and hitting the cliff. Herzliya may have earned a marina and apartments on the sea, and the municipality earns a lot of property taxes, but the environmental price is terrible. We lost 2.5 km of natural and wide sandy beach.

“The damage to the marina is not only north but also south, so virtually the entire area from the cliff shore in north Tel Aviv to the Apollonia Fortress in north Herzliya has been damaged or changed dramatically because of the marina. In the past it was understood that the negative impact is always on beaches north of the marina or breakwaters. “Today, with the development of research on the beaches, we see that the negative impact is also to the south. This is happening south of the Herzliya Marina, south of the rock beach in Bat Yam, south of the Hadera power station and south of the detached breakwaters in central Netanya.”

NIS 1 billion for the marina

According to Tzvieli, among the municipalities that want to market and brand themselves through the establishment of a marina in their territory, are Netanya, Hadera, Bat Yam and Rishon Lezion. “It would be an environmental disaster if a marina was built in Bat Yam or Rishon Lezion,” he warns. “The dynamics of the sand there are very strong. I do not even want to think about the damage that will be there. Rishon Lezion has one of the most beautiful and wide beaches in Israel. People will take a kilometer of beach, and destroy a natural and beautiful stretch of beach, for what? 800 boats will destroy beach to 50,000 people on Saturday? This balance is unlikely.

“If a marina is now built in Netanya, it means that the damage to the south will be terrible. We can forget about Poleg beach. The effect is about 5 times the penetration of the marina in. In Herzliya the marina stands out at 500 meters, and we lost 2.5 km. No one thought 30 years ago that a marina in Herzliya would also have an impact in the south. “

While the authorities will increase their revenues thanks to the marinas, there is no economic estimate of the external costs of these projects.
“Establishing one marina, not very large, is estimated to cost up to a billion shekels. Regarding damage? In northern Ashkelon, the cliff collapsed and retreated up to 30 meters, just because of the marina. Invest tens of millions in the first phase to prevent the waves from hitting the cliff base. And the cliff is unstable. Restoring the destroyed section will cost hundreds of millions. It is very difficult to measure happiness, but it is also a parameter – when people come on Saturday and have no place to put a towel, it is very difficult to quantify it financially, but it is very significant for the general public.

“30 years ago, sandy beach sections in Herzliya and Ashkelon were destroyed due to the marinas, and in order to rectify the situation, they are now proposing to build breakwaters detached from lack of choice. When there is a choice, why add marinas to the loss of natural sections over kilometers? “Do it in Reading, for example, or inside the port of Hadera, and maybe expand the marina and Tel Aviv port. We need more beaches that are open and accessible to the public, and not more marine structures.”

The Ministry of Transportation responded: “The allegations against the development of the moorings constitute a smokescreen and sandcastle in the eyes of the public. And the expansion of existing moorings, where possible. Anchorages are national facilities that a state is obliged to develop. The moorings in Israel are now suitable for the capacity of the vessels, using delicacies, a decade or more ago.

“Educationally, these moorings are used in addition to promoting water sports for youth in movements such as sea scouts and other clubs where the importance of marine education is unquestioned. The marina is a significant economic engine, as many businesses are established around it, which provide employment for seafarers. For those engaged in leisure activities around the shopping centers, etc. Marinas located in peripheral areas such as Nahariya in the north to Ashkelon in the south, are expected to make a significant contribution to the development of foreign and domestic tourism in these cities.

“There is currently a shortage of 2,000 moorings, which causes Israeli vessels to hold foreign moorings such as Cyprus, Turkey and Greece, which harms the Israeli economy. In addition, many tourists arriving in Israel are prevented from arriving in Israel due to lack of moorings. In terms of security, anchorages in the northern and southern regions have security importance when it comes to maintaining the ongoing security of the State of Israel. Mooring naval vessels near the borders shortens ranges and saves a lot of money in the BATS ‘activities, as well as Israeli police maritime police stations. Along the shores of the country. “





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