Which beach is best? The Ministry of Environmental Protection ranks them for you through their Blue Green Flag program.
About the Blue Green Flag program
Entering its second year of operation, the Blue Green Flag program was begun in September 2010. The program is an effort to provide more information to the public about beach cleanliness and safety. It was inspired by the Foundation for Environmental Education’s Blue Flag program, which ranks nearly 4,000 beaches in 44 countries. (An Israeli non-profit, EcoOcean, is currently in negotiations to become the official representative to provide Blue Flag rankings in Israel.)
The Blue Green Flag program ranks all official beaches (those with lifeguards present) along the Mediterranean and in Eilat. The program uses very specific criteria to rank beaches. Each measure receives a score which is then added up to calculate the total score. The basic criteria are:
- Beach cleanliness (e.g., surveyed public opinion, trash cans available) – 30%
- Water quality (e.g., pollution, algae, jellyfish) – 25%
- Beach facilities (e.g., bathrooms, showers, water fountains, shade) – 25%
- Safety compliance – 10%
- Handicapped access – 10%
- Sewage connection – 5%
- Parking – 5%
(Yes, that does add up to 110%. It would seem beaches are eligible for extra credit.) In-depth details about beach scoring are available.
Beach score updates
Beach scores are updated at least once a month, and the results can be found on the Blue Green Flag section of the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s website.
Highest scoring beaches included:
- Kiryat Haim Mercaz Beach in Haifa and the Western Coast in Eilat with a score of 100%
- North and Central Akkadia Beaches in Herzliya and the North Tzuk Beach in Tel Aviv with a score of 98%
Enjoy the fun in the sun (or shade), and let us know if your opinion matches the rankings!