Israeli environmentalists are concerned that the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth, is disappearing. This poses environmental risks and may affect the rare healing effects of the Dead Sea. Voice of America correspondent Linda Gradstein was in the Dead Sea region and prepared this report.
Jake Ben Zaken directs his small boat towards a strange salt formation that has risen above the surface of the Dead Sea. Until recently, these formations were all under water, but the sea is shrinking rapidly.
He believes that the special environment of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, should be protected.
“I think the Dead Sea belongs to the world. This is the only place in the world of this kind, there is nothing similar in the world. “And I think we have to protect him.”
The shrinking of the Dead Sea has been documented for years by the organization Dead Sea Resurrection Project.
“The Dead Sea is currently at its lowest point ever recorded. We are losing water equivalent to the amount of water in 600 Olympic pools a day. “We are trying to do everything to have a vision to restore the historical course, to save the Dead Sea in every way possible”, says Noam Bedein from the Dead Sea Resurrection Project.
The main source of water for the Dead Sea is the Jordan River, but its flow has been drastically reduced by the lack of rainfall and water shortage in this desert region. Climate change has led to the sudden emergence of over 6,000 large and dangerous potholes, destroying the tourism industry in the area.
Some Israeli environmental artists are trying to raise awareness of the shrinking Dead Sea and the emergence of dangerous pits, through dancing, photo exhibitions and art with environmental themes.
“The metaphor of the red lines is a reference to the blood vessels of Mother Nature. “I see this whole area as a prophecy of what will happen in the world if we do not take care of nature,” said artist and environmental activist Doron Gazi.
The Dead Sea Climate Therapy Clinics have treated thousands of patients suffering from skin diseases and breathing problems. They take advantage of the region’s rare environmental conditions, including high oxygen levels, ultraviolet rays and mineral water. Now a new study shows that the Dead Sea environment can also help patients with COVID-19.
“For the first time we are seeing that ultraviolet rays can be beneficial for patients with Covid-19. In the latest study we learned that these rays can prevent deaths from Covid-19 ″, says Dr. Marco Harari from the DMZ clinic.
Environmentalists here say there are many reasons to save the Dead Sea and hope this study will raise awareness of what needs to be done to stop its further shrinkage. / Voa