The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

The Forest is the Ocean's Sweetheart (NPO)

Connecting the forest, village and sea through protection and revitalization of quake damaged wetlands; Connecting with the next generation through environmental education

Activity grant

Project Description

In the Moune region of Kesennuma city in Miyagi Prefecture, great damage to wetlands was caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake which made the ground subside. Now a unique ecosystem has formed, and the Ministry of Environment has selected it as a "a wetland with high importance from the standpoint of biodiversity." This activity aims to create a good environment in these wetlands affected by the earthquake which can maintain a healthy ecosystem through environmental improvement, biological research and appropriate management. Environmental education in the field of wetlands will also be carried out, and new opportunities for young people to experience the link between forests, villages, and the ocean will also be created. The aim is to connect the next generation with this rich environmental conservation know-how. [No. K16-1011]

Ecosystems and the Symbiotic Society
Grant year
FY2016 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years
From October 2016 to September 2019
Grant amount
11.440 million yen
Activity region
Miyagi Prefecture, Kesennuma City and Iwate Prefecture, Ichinoseki City
A visit by Kesennuma High School to the environmental research field to investigate utilization

Overview of the Organization

Representative: Akira Hatakeyama
Chairman: Shigeatsu Hatakeyama
NPO The Forest is the Ocean's Sweetheart is situated in a main area for oyster cultivation in Sanriku, Kesennuma Bay and the secondary river Okawa which flows into it. Under the philosophy of "The Forest is the Ocean's Sweetheart," the entire basin of forest, river and sea are regarded as one community, and the NPO was established with the aim of contributing to the construction of a rich society in which people and nature are in harmony and in order for many people to enjoy the blessing of the abundant ocean in the future, whilst carrying out three projects for forest creation, environmental education, and preserving natural environment in cooperation with groups both in Japan and overseas.
Recent Activities
The NPO is engaged across three main fields of activities; environmental education, forest creation, and conservation of natural environment. Environmental education activities carried out include hands-on learning, nature observation sessions, the dispatch of lecturers, etc. Forest creation activities include a "The Forest is the Ocean's Sweetheart" tree-planting festival, maintenance and management of plantation areas, etc. Conservation of natural environment activities include continuous natural environmental research in collaboration with research institutions with universities, etc. about the changes in natural environment after the earthquake, in order to deepen understanding of the organic surroundings.
Number of Full-time employee: 1 / Number of Part timer: 1 / Number of Members: 154
WEB site
Voice of Representative
Great East Japan Earthquake recovery work caused more of the natural environment to be lost than before the disaster. Accordingly, the aim of this NPO is to pass on the rich natural environment to the next generation, as one example of disaster restoration work and also as preparation for the next disaster.