Over 4,000 – or a quarter of the Large Cormorants in Israel during winter migration — chose the Kishon River banks as their resting place in 2013. Sharon Nissim, head of the Kishon River Authority, says it’s the third year in a row that the record breaking number of these birds chose the rehabilitated banks of what was once Israel’s most polluted streambed.
“The Kishon has proven time and again that it is a major birding site in Israel. Alongside the Cormorants at the streambed are many water birds – including herons, river kingfishers, ibis and redshanks,” says Nissim.
So far in 2014, some 2,700 Large Cormorants were counted at the Kishon site.
While the Cormorants serve as proof that the waterway has been rehabilitated extensively, the government recently announced plans for the EnGlobe Canadian sewage firm to dredge the Kishon riverbed and purify its sediments. The plan is meant to turn the waterway into an oasis for the country’s northern residents.
Nissim said the Kishon Authority is working to create an ecological park at the site and offer a public birding center.
“We succeeded in bringing the project to a position in which we can now start with the most important phase and make sure that the dream is going to happen, and that the Kishon River will be, God willing, clean, and people can again enjoy the water and the park that surrounds it,” Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan told a press conference.Photo by Shutterstock