The demarcation of arbitrary boundaries for coastal zone management: The Israeli case

Eliraz Sas, Itay Fischhendler*, Michelle E. Portman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) addresses the interconnections, complexities, and conflicts between many users of the coastal area with different goals. It requires setting managerial boundaries that capture many elements of human and natural systems. Experience teaches us that without a directed effort managerial rules and laws are not likely to coincide with the physical sensitivity of units that reflect different environmental characteristics of the coastal zone. Hence the aim of this study is to explore why coastal managerial boundaries are set arbitrarily and whether and how it is possible to address the problems this poses. We examine what influences the decisions of a new coastal management authority in Israel to determine how this body overcomes the limits of arbitrary boundary demarcation. The study found that real life management succeeded to both address areas outside the arbitrary boundaries and also to respect some of the different socio-economic needs and physical constraints of the coastal sub-units. Israel's Coastal Environment Protection Law allows and, in fact, encourages the regulator to use discretion and to employ various criteria to balance development and conservation. This implies that policy makers are cognizant of a need to balance ecologically-sensitive boundaries that consider the homogeneity of the coast with politically feasible boundaries that are set arbitrarily.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2358-2369
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Boundary delineation
  • Coastal policy
  • ICZM
  • Resource management boundaries


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