An initiative is needed to save the beaches that are damaged due to human activity combined with global warming
The beaches that connect the land to the sea are one of the first fronts in the fight against global warming and climate change. About a billion people live up to 10 km from the coast, and the same number live up to 10 meters above sea level. These two billions constitute the most vulnerable population to climatic disasters such as floods and storms, which are arriving with increasing frequency and intensity.
By the end of this century, an increase of 2 meters in sea level is expected, which will cause migration waves of tens of millions of people. The shapes, geographic location and environmental composition of beaches vary from coast to coast, so the response of beaches to climate change will also be different.
Studies have identified sandy beaches as particularly sensitive and vulnerable, since they are easily weathered. A survey conducted in 2018 showed that due to climate change, 25% of the world’s sandy beaches are constantly weathering, a situation that will worsen in the future. This situation is alarming since sandy beaches are important for carbon absorption, are a place for rich biodiversity as well as a base for tourism and agriculture.
To save the damaged beaches, a green approach is needed, beaches that combine nature with human activity. In a study conducted in 2023, the features that protect beaches were examined and identified: sea otters, dunes, barrier islands, coral reefs, mangrove groves and even frozen beaches – all contribute to the physical and biological resilience of the beaches, and are a barrier against the effects of the climate.
At the same time these features provide environmental services. It turns out that treating the beaches as “green infrastructure” is a way to share nature in managing the effects that arise as a result of climate change.
It is necessary to recognize beaches as a changing natural system, and to merge and integrate with the environment instead of trying to control it. The many benefits that a natural beach provides to the environment and to humans should be understood and recognized. Therefore, it is necessary to recognize the beaches as an integrated system, and not just as a border between sea and land.
However, it is impossible to ignore the offensive negligence of various authorities in their attitude to Israel’s shores. The construction of marinas, breakwaters and jetties without taking into account the currents of the sea, the waves and the natural state of the beaches – causes heavy damage. Violent “development” and construction activities along the coasts of Eilat and the Mediterranean Sea, driven by engineers, heads of authorities and planners whose understanding of beaches and a healthy environment is deficient, are already causing devastating results that are felt today.
After all this, I cannot help but refer to the offensive negligence of the various authorities in their attitude to our shores. This is the case with the construction of marinas, breakwaters and piers without taking into account the currents of the sea, the waves and the natural state of the beaches. So is the violent “development” and construction along the coast of Eilat.
“Development” and construction activities on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and in Eilat, led by engineers, heads of authorities and planners whose understanding of beaches, nature and a healthy environment is lacking, and whose destructive results are already being felt.
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