Haifa Bay

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Haifa Bay
Everyday life of the city.

Haifa Bay (Hebrew: מפרץ חיפה‎, Mifratz Haifa) is a bay along the Mediterranean coast of Northern Israel. Haifa Bay is Israel's only natural harbor on the Mediterranean.

Fed by the Kishon River, the cities of Haifa and Acre mark its southern and northern capes, while its centre is lined with dunes and the suburban Krayot neighbourhoods. Mount Carmel rises from the southern edge, while the mountains of the Western Galilee run up to the shore at the northern boundary. The Port of Haifa lies along part of its southeastern coastline.

Haifa Bay also signifies one of Haifa's nine boroughs, covering the overwhelmingly industrial area northeast of Downtown and south of Kiryat Hayim.

History[edit]

In the 1920s, several kibbutzim were established in the Bat Galim neighborhood on Haifa Bay in the wake of British Mandatory budgeting for development of the area.[1] With the coast of Palestine lacking a modern harbor, the British authorities drew up plans for new port facilities. The Haifa Bay Development Company, founded in February 1925 to further these plans, could not recruit the necessary capital, so the transaction was made by the Palestine Land Development Company. The land was purchased from the Sursock family, which had bought it from the Ottoman government in 1872. The 45,000 dunam tract was known as the Jidro lands. The company also acquired a 99-year concession for an additional 12,000 dunams of adjoining land, bringing the total area to 57,000.[2] The land changed hands several times due to financial difficulties, eventually becoming the property of the Bayside Land Company, established in cooperation with the Jewish National Fund. In 1928, the company commissioned Patrick Abercrombie to draw up a development plan.[3]

In 1934, the Phoenicia glass factory was established in Haifa Bay. The company moved to Yeruham in 1968, and is still operating today.[4]

Industrial zone[edit]

Haifa Bay's extensive industrial zone, with its shore-based oil refineries and chemical and metals fabrication plants, has led to pollution of the bay and a higher incidence of cancer in the surrounding communities,[5] though air pollution in the region is expected to be significantly reduced with major plants in the area expected to switch to using natural gas as their primary fuel source after the new national natural gas distribution grid was extended to the region in early 2011.[6] The 76-meter high twin cooling towers of the Haifa oil refinery are a nationally recognized icon for the city. For this reason, they have been left intact, though they are no longer actually used since technological advancements in refining have made them obsolete.

References[edit]

Coordinates: 32°49′23.01″N 35°1′26.04″E / 32.8230583°N 35.0239000°E / 32.8230583; 35.0239000