Our mission at Hawaiian Paddle Sports involves more than just our business. Community, culture, and protecting what we love in this world is a big part of who we are. Each month we highlight a local charity, community group or non profit organization. In addition to raising awareness for their cause, we make a financial donation and volunteer our time to help them to accomplish their goals. We are proud to sponsor Malama Maui Nui.
There’s no question about it – Maui is absolute paradise. Our island home is surrounded by beautiful blue ocean, colorful coral reefs, and breathtaking coastlines. Yet like any community, Maui deals with issues such as litter, vandalism, and illegal dumping. These actions not only impact the beauty of our island, but can also threaten sensitive habitats and endangered species. Malama Maui Nui, a local 501(c)(3)-nonprofit-organization, tackles these issues head on. Through a broad array of community-based programs, the organization promotes a clean, sustainable future for the islands of Maui County.
Malama Maui Nui:
Caring for the Islands of Maui
“Malama” is a special and powerful word in Hawaii. Translated, malama means “to care for”, and is commonly encountered throughout the islands – from signs at local beaches to conversations about Hawaii’s environment. The phrase Maui Nui refers to the entire 4 island complex of Maui County that includes the islands of Maui, Molokai, Lani and Kahoolawe. In its simplest terms, malama Maui Nui therefore means “to care for the islands of Maui County”.
Founded in 1991, Malama Maui Nui (formerly “Community Work Day”) has spent the last 2o+ years providing critical programs and services to the Maui community. The organization originally grew out of a State Department of Health initiative in the 1980’s to address the growing problem of litter and excess waste. Over the decades, the organization has undergone reorganization and name changes. Despite these changes, Malama Maui Nui has remained committed to supporting a healthy environment – on land, in the sea, and within the community.
Today, Malama Maui Nui focuses specifically on projects in Maui County. Ultimately, the organization seeks to educate, inspire and empower residents and visitors alike to nurture the environment in support of Maui Nui’s ecosystems, economy, quality of life and unique Hawaiian culture. It is Malama Maui Nui’s belief that environmental health is directly related to an improved economy and quality of life.
Empowering Our Community
At first glance, Maui looks pretty pristine. But take a short drive and you’ll see a significant amount of illegally discarded trash right along our roadways. The reason for this is multi-faceted; laziness, lack of awareness, and limited infrastructure and accessibility to county landfills are all contributing reasons.
With it’s Hot Spot program, Malama Maui Nui sends its Field Crew on weekly reconnaissance missions, removing illegally discarded bulky-items along our roadsides. Additionally, Malama Maui Nui hosts a monthly, community-driven, bulky-item recycling event for residents of West Maui at no cost to participants. Malama Maui Nui also supports Host Your Own cleanups in addition to their annual Get The Drift and Bag It and Spring Cleanup events. Malama Maui Nui is committed to creatively repurposing and up-cycling normally discarded items such as plastics and tires. For example, the annual Art of Trash event is hugely popular and challenges artists to create works of art entirely from reused and repurposed materials.
To support Malama Maui Nui’s efforts, Hawaiian Paddle Sports and Maui Kayak Adventures team members participate in cleanup events, including International Coastal Cleanup Day, also known locally as Get The Drift and Bag It. A worldwide event, International Coastal Cleanup aims to remove debris from shorelines and waterways, while also collecting valuable data on litter statistics. As part of the cleanup, participants record the types and amounts of trash that were collected. This information is important when requesting funding for cleanup events and also influencing local litter policies.
How You Can Help
Malama Maui Nui envisions a community that exponentially multiplies its efforts by working together, ensuring Maui Nui’s future generations will be afforded the same opportunity to thrive in this safe, beautiful, and ecologically-rich environment. You can support Malama Maui Nui’s efforts by:
- Donating to Malama Maui Nui’s programs
- Volunteering with their various programs
- Participating in their many events
- Hosting your own Community Cleanup;
- Downloading the latest version of Maui County’s Residential Recycling Guide
- Properly disposing of household trash and hazardous wastes
For more information, visit Malama Maui Nui’s website. Follow Malama Maui Nui on Facebook and Instagram, both of which provide information on upcoming events.