27.10.2020
עברית
  About Insights and research interactive plots data Contact us  

About

About estuaries and the research

We are studying the Alexander estuary and its effect on the sea to enable science-based decision-making. Our aim is to help improve the status and health of the estuary's ecosystem by studying the complex annual dynamics, processes and interactions between and among the ecosystem's components and its effect on the adjacent sea. 

Gadi Aizen (Israel Channel 10) produced a short film that describes the research and its goals.

Industrial and urban developments over the last decades directed some of their effluents into Israel’s rivers, dramatically transforming them into sewage canals. Efforts to restore these ecosystems are now underway.

Ecological systems change continuously over time and space and exhibit complex responses to environmental changes. To understand these complex ecosystems, we need to rely on long-term data gathering and accompanied by scientific analysis and research.

Estuaries are a unique habitat where sea water mix with fresh water, thus creating a constantly changing ecosystem in terms of salinity and temperature, that in turn, affect many other environmental variables.

Water pollution is a pressing problem around the globe and Israel in not an exception. The coastal streams and estuaries of Israel were of the most beautiful and important habitats of the shoreline and home to many animals and plants. Nowadays, most are severely damaged due to intensive and prolonged exploitation of water resources, reengineering into drainage systems and by becoming a national network of wastewater. The draining of the coastline swamps by changing the geo-morphological characteristics of the streams and estuaries, eliminated many of the natural habitats that used to surround the estuary.

Estuaries have very important ecological and environmental roles as a physical sink for particulate matter and a biological filter, and also as a nursery and hatchery for a variety of species. Estuaries are characterized by dramatic gradients and frequent changes in conditions such as day to day changes in salinity, temperature, and oxygen. These changes pose a great challenge to the organisms that live in the estuary but also contribute to the diversity of micro-habitats within the estuary.

There are nine active estuaries at the Israeli coastline. These estuaries are located near or within populated areas (e.g., Yarkon, Kishon, Alexander, Naaman), and all of them serve for recreation and leisure. Despite their central location and their important environmental functions, the factors affecting water quality, ecosystem health and functioning, the effect on the shoreline and the relation with the sea have been poorly studied.

Our research encompass physical, geochemical, and biological aspects of the Alexander estuary and the sea near it, by monitoring biotic and abiotic parameters of the water and the surrounding environment. We focus on four main issues: Water turbidity, oxygen levels, toxics and organic contaminants, and nutrient loads.

Our goal is to be able to build a comprehensive computerized model of the estuary ecosystem to help in predicting the outcome of different management decisions.

This website shows the main findings of our long-term research and monitoring (started January 2014) of the Alexander estuary and its surrounding ecosystems. The research is performed at the School of Marine Sciences, Ruppin Academic Center, with collaboration of scientists from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and The Volcani Center.

 All data presented on this website may be used for education, research, and public advocacy. Any commercial use of the data is strictly forbidden unless a written permission has been secured in advance. Scientists who wish to use some of our data in their publications should contact Dr. Suari.

We thank the Ruppin Academic Center and the private fund for their support of the research and the construction of this website.

 

About
About estuaries and the research
Insights and research
interactive plots
data
Contact us
2020 © All rights are reserved, Israeli School of Marine Science, RuppinAcademic Center
Contact: Dr. Yair Suari
created by CYBERSERVE