Authorities marvel as vacationers leave Sea of Galilee uncharacteristically clean

Officials hope their education efforts are finally working, though a free parking program for trash-gatherers may deserve the credit

Israelis enjoy the beaches of the Sea of Galilee in Northern Israel, during the Jewish holiday of Passover, on April 26, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Israelis enjoy the beaches of the Sea of Galilee in Northern Israel, during the Jewish holiday of Passover, on April 26, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Israeli campers are not particularly known for their disciplined cleanliness, and dour news stories on the state of Israel’s main vacation spots have become part and parcel of holiday reportage.

Still, persistent campaigns to educate the public may be achieving results: The Kinneret Authority, charged with the preservation of the Sea of Galilee, reported Monday that the lake’s beaches were left exceptionally clean at the end of the Sukkot holiday.

The authority told Ynet News that though the beaches were frequented by over a quarter of a million people over the course of the eight-day holiday, visitors left the shores in good shape.

Inspectors were active along the sea’s declared beaches throughout the entire holiday, but the authority noted with satisfaction that undeclared beaches, which are less tended to, were also left tidy by holiday’s end.

Garbage at campgrounds on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in 2010 (Alana Perino/FLASH90)

Perhaps contributing to the public’s newfound environmental awareness was the authority’s initiative providing free parking to anyone filling up three garbage bags before leaving the area.

“We are glad to see a different and better state of beaches. The public is cooperating and keeping the environment much cleaner,” Yarden Nakash, head of the authority’s educational team, told Ynet.

“We welcome this and hope that in the future we will not need to talk about cleanliness at all.”

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