Dead Sea Protection Bill Pushed Ahead Of New 7 Wonders Competition
The Dead Sea is one of the 28 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition. It is a salt lake between Palestine and Israel to the west and Jordan to the east. At almost 1,378 feet (420 meters) below sea level, its shores are the lowest point on Earth that are on dry land. In the deepest part, at the very bottom of the sea, it is over 2,300 feet below sea level. The ‘Salt Sea’ has 30% salinity which is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean and people can float in it with no effort required. The Dead Sea is 1,237 ft (377 m) deep, making it the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. It has attracted visitors for thousands of years . . . Photo source: ©© M Disdero
This weekend, the winners of the worldwide New 7 Wonders of Nature competition will be announced, and Israel is rooting for the Dead Sea to be on the list. But Israeli environmentalists hope the government won’t be content with the mere honor, and will instead actually save the sea by supporting a bill to regulate the pumping of water from its sources and construction of infrastructure on its beaches.
The bill, entitled “Protection and Rehabilitation of the Dead Sea,” was drafted by the Israel Union for Environmental Defense (Adam, Teva V’Din) and submitted to the Knesset by a group of MKs headed by Dov Khenin (Hadash), and focuses on damages caused by the Dead Sea Works. The Ministerial Committee for Legislation is due to convene next week to decide whether the government will back it.”
Rooted in four main principles, the bill aims to preserve the Dead Sea and its internationally treasured natural resources, maintain the salty waters for the benefit of the next generation, curb the plunging water levels of the northern basin and determine new terms of management for the region, which will provide for continued reasonable extraction of minerals while protecting the ecosystems and biodiversity, according to the text.“If we don’t protect the Dead Sea from menacing damage inflicted upon it daily, we will be responsible for the disappearance of this natural wonder,” Henin said in a statement… (Jerusalem Post.)
Photo source: ©© David Shankbone
Springs of Life in the Dead Sea: Dense and Diverse Microbial Communities in and Around Fresh Water Springs, in Science Daily
The deepest point on the surface of Earth is the Dead Sea in Israel. Now a joint Israeli-German team of scientists found several systems of freshwater springs on the Dead Sea floor. Their presence has been speculated for decades as concentric ripples on the water surface are visible near the shore, but only with divers it was possible to detect this complex system of springs reaching 30 m depth. To locate and study these springs was quite a task for the scientific diving team, as the high salt concentration makes the diving dangerous and difficult. The divers located the springs and took water and sediment samples in which they detected novel microorganisms.