"A stream isn't like a sick person who goes to the doctor and pays to be healed. It doesn’t have any money, so it's up to us to care for its health. All relevant government organizations and NPOs have to cooperate and coordinate efforts towards achieving a common goal. KKL-JNF made a strategic decision to get involved in stream restoration in 1984. We should remember that Israel's Ministry of the Environment was only established in 1988. KKL-JNF has concentrated on regularizing the stream channel, preventing erosion of stream banks, planting trees along the stream course and supporting research on how to restore the polluted ecosystems around the streams. In addition, KKL-JNF has built over 200 water reservoirs, which supply water to agriculture and allow fresh water from springs to flow in the streams rather than to be diverted for agricultural uses. Of course, the first step is to stop the flow of industrial wastes into the streams, one of the functions of the government agencies legally empowered to enforce anti-pollution laws.
"KKL-JNF decided that the Kishon Stream region, from the beginnings of the stream to where the Kishon flows into the Mediterranean, should become a major park. Our original plan was to complete the restoration of the Kishon by 2010. However, although we have made excellent progress, it will take somewhat longer. We have created a bicycle path that runs from here to the Jordan River, transecting the country from west to east. I would remind everyone that one of KKL-JNF's principles is to keep nature open to the public, without charge. Thanks to the help of our many friends from around the world, we have been able to adhere to this policy, although it is getting increasingly difficult to do so due to the present world economic crisis. In order to maintain our achievements to date and to continue our projects, we need to bridge the gaps between the demands of urban development and conservation of nature, and to compromise. I look forward to a vibrant and sustainable future for the Kishon Stream."
The conference was part of "Green City", a one-day happening devoted to the greening of Haifa Bay, an area which is heavily polluted due to the Israel's petroleum refining industries. Dr. Gershon Lidor of Carmel Olefins, which is Israel's sole manufacturer of petrochemical products used as raw materials for the plastics industry and is located in Haifa Bay, said that today, industry has realized that concern for the environment and profitable production no longer constitute a contradiction in terms. "Waste as a result of production is not only a pollutant, but also represents a loss of raw materials that with better systems could be used and sold. We work here every day, and we also want to breathe clean air. We invest in the most advanced filters and recycle our water rather than dumping it in the Kishon Stream."
The topics addressed at the conference included subjects such as the future vision for Haifa Bay and waste recycling in Israel. Mr. Shai Ilan of the Ministry of the Environment noted that Israel recently passed a law imposing a fine on local authorities for every ton of garbage dumped in garbage dumps, which encourages them to look for ways to recycle. The money from the fines is made available to help with creating infrastructures for recycling, and progress is being made.