A true love of the oceans, coral and the extraordinary life that exists under the sea, led the owner of the Underwater Observatory to establish Zalul in 1999, a non-profit organization with the purpose of saving the unique coral reef, in the Gulf of Eilat, ravaged by the pollution caused by fish cages.
After a long and courageous struggle, the fish cages were removed from the Red Sea, and since then there has been a marked improvement in the condition of the coral reef. Zalul, until today, remains vigilant, standing guard and ensuring that agricultural pollution does not return to the Gulf of Eilat.
Zalul is currently considered one of the leading environmental organizations in Israel, ready to wage battle against all environmental contaminators, mainly large gas and oil companies and other polluting industries nationwide. Equally they are delighted to participate in groundbreaking collaborations with local authorities, companies and organizations to further environmental solutions and prevent pollution.
All Zalul work is focused on the preservation of Israel’s seas, beaches and streams which it is our deep belief, in turn, protects all of nature.
Amongst the many long-term achievements of Zalul:
● Recognition of IDF Navy soldiers as victims of pollution, who developed cancer after diving in the Kishon River as part of their service.
● Closure of the hazardous ammonia tank in Haifa
● Bringing to an end the 5 million tons of polluted sewage sludge from the Shafdan (Gush Dan’s sewage treatment plant) that are tipped into the sea every year.
● Preventing the dumping of sewage and industrial pollution in many streams.
● Leading the ground-breaking change in public opinion regarding single-use plastic. This long-term action plan to create public awareness and action, included, among other things, the passing of the ‘Bags Law’, the initiation of the “City without Disposable Plastic” project in Herzliya and the application of the Deposit Law on large beverage bottles.
● Zalul is currently leading the fight to save the Red and Mediterranean seas from oil pollution, demanding the cancellation of the expansion of the EPA (Europe-Asia pipeline) and preventing accelerated gas and oil drilling across the Mediterranean, including the construction of additional rigs along Israel’s shores. This is alongside a necessary pre-requirement for maximum emergency preparedness and treatment of offshore oil pollution.
● Zalul believe the Israeli government is responsible for an expanding petrochemical industry into the Mediterranean Sea, without being prepared for emergency treatment of oil or condensate effluent (the fuel produced with the gas). There are no emergency crews, no emergency stations in the north and south as required and no marine equipment to deal with a potential disaster. Despite this, marine drilling is conducted without adequate supervision and enforcement, without laws for marine protection and without adequate insurance.
● Zalul has been working tirelessly to change the status quo on this emergency since 2012, and over the years have enlisted more and more organizations to join this struggle, all enraged by the madness and irresponsibility of deserting the sea, by both the oil and gas industry.
● At the same time, Zalul is a key activist in demanding that the government act to curb the climate crisis and halt polluting the environment. Zalul contend that the current situation is a complete abandonment of humanity and nature from the industrial sector.
● In addition, “Zalul” is a leading member of the “Mediterranean People group” that works to create marine reserves. The Gulf of Eilat, and the coral reef within it, are local and global natural treasures. The Mediterranean Sea is the most important resource of the State of Israel. A source of desalinated water, coastal tourism, Israel’s main opening to the world of maritime trade, a source of energy, leisure and physical and mental health.
● Zalul stands watch over the seas and streams so that we can all enjoy the rare gifts of nature for many years to come. Unfortunately, the threats to the environment are only growing over time.
Expansion on the EPA struggle:“Zalul” initiated and leads, alongside other organizations, a coalition of 25 environmental organizations – the largest environmental coalition ever formed in Israel. This coalition, SAVE RED MED works to prevent the EPA project to transfer oil from the Persian Gulf countries to the Mediterranean, at huge risk to the Gulf of Eilat According to the plan, huge oil tankers will anchor in the Gulf of Eilat, flowing the oil into the dilapidated and dangerous EPA pipeline to Ashkelon. Oil is a pollution to Eilat Aqaba and the Sinai coast, a risk to Ashkelon and all of Israel’s shores in the Mediterranean. There is an unfathomable risk along the entire route, that stretches through the Arava and the Negev. The health risk to the residents of Eilat and Ashkelon is certain. The fuel fumes stored in farms from enlarged tanks are not only a carcinogen, but also a target for enemy missiles, whether they are fired from Gaza or Sinai. Hundreds of scientists from Israel and around the world have signed a joint letter against this project. The tar-spillage disaster that befell the Mediterranean is an alarm bell. A similar disaster at the Red Sea means the complete destruction of the coral reefs and tourism throughout the surrounding bay.
Join us and sign the petition www.saveredmed.org