While building an airstrip during World War II, large quantities of coral at Tuvalu were dug up and carted off to be crushed and mixed for the tarmac. The vast pits that were left behind across Funafuti, called “borrow pits,” were never filled and eventually began to be used for refuse. This not only caused sanitation problems but also significant damage to coral communities and the surrounding ecosystem. The remnants of the existing seawall, littered along the coastline, amplified a breach that threatened the island splitting into two.
Under the coastal and climate change adaptation project, Tuvalu reclaimed land, lost to sea. The local government emulated solutions helping to build protective barriers in the fight against rising seas, surges and king tides, including one to buffer the capital, Funafuti. Over 6 hectares of actual area had been remediated from all the 'borrow pits', so it was a significant investment in land rehabilitation for Tuvalu.