The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

SPERA Mori Sato Umi - Cultivating an Era (NPO)

A foundation for revitalizing Ariake Sea mudflats: linking citizens, high schools and universities

Activity grant

Project Description

The Ariake Sea ecosytsem is in trouble and this project believes that the key to its recovery is restoring its mud flats, and is creating a network of people to undertake this endeavour. It is crucial that the next-generation that will live around the sea take the lead in its recovery.
The NPO SPERA Mori Sato Umi - Cultivating an Era was started through a research project funded by the Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund from 2011 to 2013. This time, people from the organization will collaborate with the researchers from various universities who conducted the base research for the project and local fisherpeople who want the sea to recover to carry out a range of initatives aimed at restoring the mud flats which will be centered around the involvement of Denshukan High School students.

Grant year
FY2014 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years
October 2014 - September 2017
Grant amount
6,990,000 yen
Activity region
Saga and Fukuoka Prefectures, Japan
Carrying out an experiment aimed at reviving Ariake Sea mud flats

Overview of the Organization

Satomi Uchiyama, Director
Satomi Uchiyama, Director
Establishment purpose
Waterfronts are irreplaceable environments needed for us to coexist with seas and rivers. At the same time, our way of living and industry is having a significant impact on their existence. The organization aims to restore these environments and create the 'forest of the heart' needed to do this by involving local residents, fisherpeople, researchers, and the high school students who carry the future, in activities and promotes the perspective that waterfront environments, such as the Ariake Sea and its surrounding canals, are ecosystems combining sea, forest, and areas in which people live.
Main areas of activity
1 part-time staff member, 27 full members
Annual operating budget
1.21 million yen in 2013, 3.50 million yen in 2014
WEB site
Recent activities
Connecting a diverse range of people to extend the network of individuals conducting experiments regarding the restoration of the mud flats which perform a 'kidney function' for the Ariake Sea, a project which is being positioned as a litmus test for the restoration of Japanese coastlines and coastal fishing industries. To acheive this, the organization is holding symposiums on restoring the Ariake Sea through the connection of forest, sea and inhabited areas, conducting a series of lectures at local high schools, operating science cafes, holding special classes at elementary and middle schools, and other activities to deepen connections with future generations. It is also trying to reintroduce Japanese eels into canals in Yanagawa to demonstrate a connection between waterfront environments and regional revitalization.