Employees Help Remove 2.9 Tons of Waste from Lagoon
Preserving an important wetlands home for migratory birds and endangered plants became a family activity for many employees of Dow’s Sasakami site in central Japan.
Seventy-seven employees and their family members were among about 750 people from neighboring communities who took part in the 2016 Fukushima Lagoon Cleanup, clearing 2.9 tons of waste from the wetlands in a single day. It was the 18th consecutive year that Dow employees have volunteered at the event.
“I took part in this activity for the first time because I wanted see the flowers that bloom around the lagoon, but in addition to the flowers I also found trash, like cans and plastic bags, scattered around,” said Miyuki Imada, who works in Manufacturing Operations at Sasakami. “I understood this activity’s importance, and it was a precious experience as a socially responsible person. I’m sure I’ll join in again in the future.”
Employee Masaru Kimura took his children with him to the cleanup so that the family could enjoy a shared experience.
“I was taken aback a little when my small child asked me, ‘Why do people dump things in such pretty places?’ ” Kimura said. “Trash was quite heavy on my back, but my heart was so light after seeing the lagoon beautiful again.”
Fukushima Lagoon is the biggest wetland in Japan’s Niigata prefecture. Its rich, diverse natural resources provide a home to more than 220 species of birds and 450 species of wetland plants. Registered as an essential national wetland, it is considered the northernmost habitat for water lily and other rare plants, many threatened by extinction. The area is also an important flyaway site for migratory birds including Middendorf’s bean geese, which fly from Kamchatka Peninsula to Japan every winter.