The Maui Coastal Land Trust (MCLT) is a nonprofit organization that was established in 2001 with the mission to protect Maui's shorelines, coastal landscapes, and cultural resources. The organization works with private landowners and community groups to acquire land or conservation easements, which can limit any development potential and specify what can and cannot be done on a property. Since its inception, the MCLT has helped conserve more than 15,000 acres of land. The Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (HILT) is responsible for managing thousands of acres of land across Hawaii.
Accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, the organization is managed by a board of directors from every county in the state. It is funded by memberships, private donations, foundation and agency grants, and various fundraising events. The HILT provides resources and support to landowners to integrate conservation into their land use plans in perpetuity. The main tool of the HILT toolkit is the conservation easement, which is a voluntary agreement entered into between the owner and the Land Trust to permanently limit the type and amount of housing development that can occur on the plot.
The Hawaiian Islands Land Trust currently protects more than 17,000 acres of land in the Hawaiian Islands through a variety of conservation and land ownership easements. In some cases, such as the Waihe'e Refuge, the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust owns the land and has implemented long-term restoration projects. To learn more about the Hawaii Islands Land Trust and to see details about the lands they currently protect, visit their website. In support of the nonprofit organization for the month of January, team members from Hawaiian Paddle Sports, Maui Kayak Adventures, Maui Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Maui Surf Lessons and Hawaii Mermaid Adventures spent the afternoon restoring Maui's native coastal ecosystems with the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust. The group's efforts focused on the coastal dune and wetland refuge of Waihe'e, a 277-acre land reserve located on the north coast of Maui. If you're in Maui, consider joining the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust's weekly workday, held every Friday at the Waihe'e Coastal Dunes and Wetland Refuge from 8:00 to 12:00.
With your help, we can ensure that Maui's coastal landscapes are preserved for future generations. It's important to remember that land—whether in open spaces, coastal approaches, beaches, or conservation areas—is critical to maintaining our Maui community. As our population grows, industries expand and developments increase, it's essential to preserve native habitats and open spaces. By joining forces with organizations such as The Nature Conservancy and The Trust for Public Land, we can ensure that our islands are protected for years to come. Together we can make sure that Maui's coastal landscapes remain intact for generations to come.