The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Niigata Waterside Association (NPO)

Opening the way for salmon on the dried-out Shinano River and Chikumagawa River

Activity grant

Project Description

The natural cycle connecting the sea and the mountains for living things has been broken on the Shinano River and Chikumagawa River due to blockage by dams and the intake of large volumes of water that ignores the environment. Salmon are a living organism that are emblematic of the link between the seas and the mountains, and this project has continued salmon fry releases in aim to revive the path for salmon as a symbol of rebirth of the natural cycle. This project aims to reduce the number of salmon fry released in the future, conduct research aimed at instilling returning salmon through natural hatching, offer improvement proposals for dam fishways, and assess and distribute upstream information. In addition, the project conducts environmental education and hands-on interchanges with school children in upstream and downstream areas, and works to establish groups that will carry on the activities within Nagano Prefecture. In addition, the project will establish a Salmon Path Support Fund so that the activities can be independently continued, and strengthen PR activities aimed at people in Nagano Prefecture, Niigata Prefecture, and people in metropolitan area in order to gain their understanding and cooperation.

Marine resources/foodEnergy problemPreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2012 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years
October 2012 - September 2015
Grant amount
7,600,000 yen
Activity region
Niigata Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture, Japan
Guidance on gentle discharge that doesn't cause stress for salmon fry

Overview of the Organization

Takashi Okuma, Representative Sponsor (Managing Director)
Takashi Okuma, Representative Sponsor (Managing Director)
Establishment year
Establishment purpose
The association was established on October 15, 1987. The screening of The Story of Yanagawa's Canals by Producer Miyazaki and Director Takahata and the holding of a symposium was used as an opportunity to launch the Niigata Waterside Association to consider waterside environments within Niigata Prefecture. The starting point of the association is to uncover water cultures and arts while enjoying the tedious activities for restoring a canal as moved people in the film mentioned above, and to conduct activities for improving and making people familiar with waterside environments in Niigata Prefecture, like those in The Story of Yanagawa's Canals that brought people together and built communities.
Main activity areas
Niigata Prefecture and locations in Japan
Number of staff members
3 part-time staff members, 196 full members
Annual operation budget
12.11 million yen in 2009, 12.2 million yen in 2010, 8.01 million yen in 2011
WEB site
Main activities
The main activities are as follows.
  • (1)Visiting areas in Japan and overseas where rivers have been restored to learn techniques and observe
  • (2) Canoe tours for learning about rivers where nature remains
  • (3) Monthly river cleaning on an outboard motor boat on the Tsusengawa River and Kurinokigawa River that serve as urban spillways for Niigata City
  • (4) Helping salmon that were lost due to dams return to Nagano Prefecture in cooperation with the residents of Nagano Prefecture, groups, fishing associations, JR East, and TEPCO, and revitalize the ecosystem on the Tsusengawa River and Kurinokigawa River through efforts such as the release of salmon fry, improvements in dam fishways, and quick releases that encourage salmon to go upstream