The massive tsunami caused by the 2011 earthquake swept away 1,400 hectares of pine groves near Watari Town, Japan.
Throughout 2014, the Watari Green Belt Project (Watari GBP) cleared undergrowth of invasive species in the groves. Today, this citizen-run project is restoring and maintaining the groves, with the participation of a total of 213 residents from Watari Town, together with volunteers from all over Japan.
In the past, the groves were maintained exclusively by the efforts of local communities, but now the project aims to involve the whole town plus volunteers from across the country in rejuvenating and managing the groves, and restoring the beautiful coastlines with the green belts.
The Watari GBP has also teamed up with local elementary schools in providing integrated educational programs on seeding or plant nurseries to nurture the next generations of the activities.