(Photo: IDF)

(Photo: IDF)

By Seth J. Frantzman - January 31, 2019

Israel’s coastal waters once swarmed with life. Dolphins, octopuses, turtles and types of rays still prowl the Mediterranean, but they are rarely seen. Recently Israel decided, in cooperation with the Society for Protection of Nature, to let soldiers help nature and in the process, be better civilians. On terra firma, that means making the huge reserves of land held by the military more friendly, but at sea, it means something more exotic.

“We work a lot with cement because the buoys on the border are anchored with it,” says commander Ido Kaufman of the IDF’s YALTAM underwater mission unit. “The cement is not good for animals, so we changed the material with [a different type of] cement so it won’t be bad to for the environment, and we made shapes on it so that when we throw an anchor, life will develop on that anchor.”

Now Israel’s elite military naval divers can take a few moments to catalogue what kind of animal life they might see when doing routine maintenance work. It makes soldiers better citizens, the IDF says. It makes Israel a better place – and the dolphins, seahorses and jellyfish benefit.

Read More: Jerusalem Post