An extensive public project for nature revival has been implemented since 2001 throughout Lake Kasumigaura. This undertaking, a national public project, has been carried out based on the Asaza Project framework described above. We as an NPO play the important role of coordinator whose task is to relate this public project to various issues affecting the basin. The NPO also sits on the committee where future courses of action and consultation are conducted.

Fig.9 Previous Lakeside Survey by Children  The detailed research on the natural environment of the Lake Kasumigaura had not been carried out before revetment construction works were started. The result is that administrative agencies and research institutes have no record of previous vegetation zones or the original scenery of the area where restoration of vegetation is now being conducted. We therefore chose to ask the children at the elementary schools around the restoration site to carry out research by asking their grandparents or nearby senior citizens for information on the former condition of the lakefront and to draw pictures of it together. We asked them to inquire about and make detailed drawings of what kind of water plants and aquatic animals used to live there and how senior citizens used to play there in their childhood (Fig. 9).

Fig.10 Planning and Restoration of the Vegetation Zone at Lake Kasumigaura by Community Members  In response to the information received, universities and we, together with local children and members of the community, are going to make a plan for vegetation restoration and cultivate the young plants needed. At each elementary school, there is a biotope where typical water plants from Lake Kasumigaura are planted. These water plants grown in the biotope will be used later for the restoration of vegetation of the lake (Fig. 10).

  After the project is completed, the effects of the project will be assessed through research conducted by elementary school children and community members investigating whether or not wildlife has revived and whether or not water quality is improved. It will also be recorded to what extent carp and crucian carp come and spawn in the restored shallows and how great reed warblers nest and swallows roost in the restored reed beds.

  This citizen-initiated project, supported by the Asaza Project, is a new type of public project in which community members and elementary school children participate together in planning, implementation, and assessment. It is hoped that this public project will also have positive effects not only on the environment but also on the community, particularly with respect to education, welfare, and industry.

  The School Biotope Network under the Asaza Project is helping to establish a catchment basin management system. Elementary schools in the Lake Kasumigaura catchment basin are arranged according to “elementary school district,” each covering an area of 1 to 2 km in radius. These school districts serve as basic local community units as well as a catchment basin environment planning areas units. The catchment basin management system established under the Project is operated like this: a biotope is created in each elementary school; wildlife, such as dragonflies, that gathers in the biotope is investigated; and information on the entire basin thus gathered is shared by the schools and research institutes by means of IT (Fig. 11,12,13).

Fig.11 Monitoring the School's Surrounding Environment in the BiotopeFig.12 Outline Network with Local Schools and University / Research Institutions

Fig.13 The Distributions of School Biotopes in the Lake Kasumigaura Basin

> 8. Watarase Future Project