Okayama Co-op has signed an agreement with Okayama Prefecture, 3 fisheries co-operatives, and an NPO to support the creation of rich Sato- Umi. In Japanese, "SATO" means the area where people live, and "UMI" means the sea. Sato-Umi is a coastal area where biological productivity and biodiversity have increased through human interventions.
As part of its support, Okayama Co-op donated 200,000 yen from the Setouchi Sato-Umi Revitalization Support Fund which has been funded from a portion of its sales to the Okayama Prefectural Seaweed Environmental Survey Project. The fund is established with the purpose of supporting the activities to raise the rich Sato-Umi in the Setouchi area.
Seaweed beds have inherent functions to support the ecosystem of the continental shelf such as "maintaining biodiversity", " absorption of nutrient salts", "purification of water quality", "absorption of carbon dioxide and the release of oxygen", " coastal conservation ", etc. They are referred to as "sea cradle" because they provide hiding and spawning places for various creatures in the sea such as fish and shellfish. Okayama Co-op contributes to the development of the local economy by promoting the selling of the seafood caught in the area.
Furthermore, Okayama Co-op is promoting efforts to protect the natural environment by nurturing the rich and abundant Sato-Umi in the Setouchi through the regeneration and conservation of eelgrass beds, one of the seaweed beds. They are promoting awareness-raising activities for co-op members and staff through organizing learning sessions for them to learn the importance of activities such as seed collection, seed selection, participating in seed sowing, and experiencing eelgrass revitalization activities.
Donations have been given since 2010, and the prefecture uses it to survey the fishery products that inhabit the eelgrass grounds to understand the effects of eelgrass ground regeneration.
A seaweed environment survey conducted by co-op members