The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Groundwork Mishima

Save endangered Japanese eight-barbel loaches, a symbol of pure water, and other aquatic organisms!

Activity grant

Project Description

The environment around the Genbe River which flows through Mishima, Shizuoka Prefeture, has been in decline since 1955, but recent conservation efforts have restored its abundant waterside areas. However, a fresh concrete spill in 2007 had a disastrous impact, wiping out many of its living creatures. Environmental monitoring was conducted over the three years since the accident focused on Japanese eight-barbel loaches, a fish species symbolic of fresh water streams. It clarified that artificial restoration measures are needed, and currently an ecosystem survey of fish and other aquatic organisms is being carried out in order to formulate an environmental restoration plan, and create the base materials needed to do this, such as a manual for citizen-led maintenance and management. This project will also involve assessing the impact of pilot restoration efforts, issuing a guide to rare species, establishing an aquarium, cultivating 'Genbe River Eco-Rangers' to manage and maintain habitats, and other initiatives.

Preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2009 Activity Grants
Grant term
2 years
April 2010 - March 2012
Grant amount
6,720,000 yen
Activity region
Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
Surveying Genbe River ecosystems

Overview of the Organization

Minoru Oaki, Director
Minoru Oaki, Director
Establishment purpose
Groundwork Mishima is engaged in efforts to conserve local environments in partnership with residents, NPOs, companies, and local government, with the aim of restoring the riverside areas that make up the landscape of 'Mishima - city of rivers', and building sustainable communities.
Main area of activity
Mishima and surrounding areas, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
11 full-time staff members, 2 part-time staff members, 109 individual members, 20 member organizations
Annual operating budget
41.01 million yen in 2007, 26.32 million yen in 2008, 38.13 million yen in 2009
WEB site
Recent activities
Groundworks Mishima has implemented practical conservation initiatives in 50 locations within the city, including restoring the Genbe River area, which had become a dumping ground; restoring populations of ranunculus nipponicus, an aquatic flower which had disappeared from the city; reviving firefly colonies; restoring wells, sacred waters, and spring-fed pools; maintaining local green spaces; environmental education initiatives including conducting nature tours and establishing school biotopes; environmental community and business initiatives; and lively events in the town center. These initiatives also serve as proof of the increased benefits that come from partnerships.