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Yarkon River in Tel Aviv Israel

The Yarkon river in Tel Aviv, Israel is the longest coastal river in the country, running from Tel Afek to northern Petach Tikva. During the 1950’s the river became increasingly polluted due to factory spillage and industrial and human waste disposal. At one point the river was diverted to flow to the Negev for irrigation, and the river’s condition continued to deteriorate. The river slowly became inhabitable and many water animals and flora along it’s banks were killed.

Together with the life forms that where wiped out were the deadly bilharzias snail which still cause high fatality in Egypt today. Eventually the environmental awareness of the community was aroused and the municipality started to take steps to revitalize the river. The quality of the water was improved by establishing sewage treatment plants, and fining industries that disposed of their waste illegally. Efforts were made to balance the ecosystem in the river area using natural and harmless methods, as well as dredging the river to restore it’s original depth and flow.

Today the river is in a better condition than it has been in years, and it’s rehabilitation continues. The municipality, with the help of donations, continues to develop recreational facilities in and around the river. You can rent row boats, motor boats and peddle boats.

There are playgrounds, and picnic areas along the river banks, as well as a broard paved path for bicycles, skates running and walking. The locals make use of these facilities, but perhaps not enough of them, and tourists are hardly ever seen along these routes.

There are row boats and canoeists who train on the river.There is even an unusual building in the shape of an upside down boat. It is The Daniel Center for Seamanship and Rowing Studies.Worth a visit and perhaps a picnic.

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