How Germany is turning wasteland into vast lakeside resorts

In this Wednesday, June 6, 2018 photo, a man walks over an artificial beach at the Lake Senftenberger See, a former lignite coal pit, in Germany's Lus

In this Tuesday, June 5, 2018 photo, mining debris covers the ground of a lignite coal pit near the village of Welzow in the Lusatia (Lausitz) area in

In this Wednesday, June 6, 2018 photo, the lake Sedlitzer See, a former lignite coal pit flooded with water in the Lusatia (Lausitz) area in Germany T

In this Tuesday, June 5, 2018 photo, trees rise out of the lake Grossraeschen See, a flooded lignite coal pit, in the Lusatia (Lausitz) area near the

In this Tuesday, June 5, 2018 photo, steam rises in the air from the brown coal power plant Schwarze Pumpe in the Lusatia, (Lausitz) area in Germany.

In this Wednesday, June 6, 2018 photo, mining debris covers the ground of a lignite coal pit near the village of Welzow in the Lusatia (Lausitz) area

In this March 27, 2012 photo, the area of the lake Grossraeschen See a former lignite coal pit, are under preparation for flooding in the Lusatia (Lau

In this Wednesday, June 6, 2018, photo, engineer Soeren Albinus checks displays at the flooding management control center for lakes in the Lusatia (La

In this Tuesday, June 5, 2018, photo, the sun sets behind a marina at the lake Geierswalder See, a formen lignite coal pit, near the city of Hoyerswer

In this Tuesday, June 5, 2018, photo, the sun sets at the lake Geierswalder See, a formen lignite coal pit, near the city of Hoyerswerda in the Lusati

GROSSRAESCHEN, Germany (AP) — The town of Grossraeschen in eastern Germany is poised to celebrate the opening of a new lake this summer, one of dozens created by filling former coal mines.

Billions of euros (dollars) have been poured into the project to create Europe's biggest artificial lake district, with the goal of turning Lusatia — a former industrial region — into a tourist destination. An official at LMBV, the state-owned company in charge of the development of 26 lakes connected by 13 canals and hundreds of miles of cycle track, calls it "the biggest landscape reconstruction in Europe."

While tourism won't replace all of the mining jobs that have disappeared in Lusatia, officials say the lake district could help revive a region that has been economically and ecologically scarred by mining.