Thousands of Israelis sign up to clean up beaches after oil spill

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

Arik Rosenblum, director of the Ecoocean nonprofit, tells a Zoom conference of green organizations that 7,000 people have volunteered so far to help clean up the beaches after the oil spill in the Mediterranean, and more are registering.

Ecoocean has sent out a research boat to check whether oil is still floating on the Mediterranean, he says. It is also going to launch a glider, together with the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institute, to examine the situation along the coast.

Ecoocean has trained 20 people in each coastal authority to deal with such an emergency — to be able to train other volunteers and help the local authority.

Tar pieces from an oil spill stuck on rocks in the Mediterranean sea as it reached Gador nature reserve near Hadera, Israel, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. Hundreds of volunteers are taking part in a cleanup operation of Israeli shoreline as investigations are underway to determine the cause of an oil spill that threatens the beach and wildlife, at Gador Nature Reserve near the northern city of Hadera, the tar smeared fish, turtles, and other sea creatures. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Rosenblum is still hoping that beach season will open on time.

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