In Hawaiian, the word “Kuleana” is described as a personal sense of responsibility. It’s a value that is honored by action – and we strive to kuleana our families, our friends, our neighbors, and our precious land.
There are endless ways to show kuleana on vacation, from choosing to bring a reusable water bottle and reef safe sunscreen, to the more formal volunteer opportunities offered to visitors. Maui offers a variety of options for visitors interested in volunteering on vacation by partnering with various organizations on the island. Check out our roundup, below!
Coastal Marine Debris Monitoring Program
Do it yourself by selecting a beach of your choosing for a family beach clean up. Simply pick up supplies including a recycled grain bag and data sheet from any of Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Stores or participating retailers, and record what trash you took off the beach. This allows researchers to expand their data and analyze the trends and patterns of debris on Maui’s beaches and shores. Learn more, here: https://www.pacificwhale.org/conservation/marine-debris/
Coral Reef Alliance – West Maui
Clean water is vital for both communities and coral reefs. Sediment and nutrient pollution from land makes its way to the ocean, threatening coral reef and human health. Revegetating eroding landscapes with plants can stabilize soil, absorb nutrients and sediments, and prevent pollutants from reaching the ocean. As a volunteer, you will help the Coral Reef Alliance revegetate stream banks with native plants, create sand bag corridors, and take part in other fun stream restoration activities up in the West Maui Mountains. Volunteers are sought every second Saturday from 8:30am to 12:30pm. For more information visit https://coral.org/maui/.
Hoaloha ‘Āina – South Maui Volunteers
South Maui Volunteers work on the restoration and maintenance of beach and dune areas near some of South Maui’s beach parks. By working with the geologists at UH Sea Grant and the Maui Parks Department, this organization helps reduce sand dune erosion and encourages natural dune growth by installing and maintaining site-specific dune pathways, protecting dune fields between parks and beaches, and by promoting native dune and beach plants. Volunteer opportunities available most Mondays from 7:30-9:30 am in South Maui. Find the schedule and learn more here: https://www.southmauivolunteers.com/
Haleakalā National Park
Offered on the first and third Saturday of each month, Haleakalā volunteers are given free transportation to the summit of Haleakalā and free admission to Haleakalā National Park. Volunteers work alongside a certified Naturalist and Haleakalā Park staff to remove invasive plant species or help with other projects to preserve this park’s native ecosystem. Free transportation is provided from Pacific Whale Foundation Ocean Store in Ma’alaea and the Tavares Community Center in Pukalani. Trip lasts approximately 7 hours, including transportation to and from the park. Visit the Haleakalā Park website to learn more about drop-in volunteer opportunities here: https://www.nps.gov/hale/getinvolved/supportyourpark/vipdropin.htm
Located in the heart of South Kihei, The Penthouse Maui is a luxury oceanfront penthouse ideal for discerning travelers seeking the utmost in relaxation and privacy. The sprawling 2,824 square-foot penthouse is spectacular with upscale amenities and stylish accommodations. Ideally situated in one of the most sought-after beaches in Maui, it is in close proximity to a variety of coveted island experiences, restaurants and shops. For reservations and inquiries, visit thepenthousemaui.com or call (808) 283-8265.
*Photos Courtesy of LightSea Images