Preserving Maui's Coastal Lands: What Does the Maui Coastal Land Trust Do?

The Maui Coastal Land Trust (MCLT) was established in 2001 with the mission to “preserve and protect the coastal lands of Maui Nui for the benefit of the natural environment and of current and future generations”. This organization has been responsible for facilitating the permanent protection of more than 14,000 acres of land in Maui County against future subdivisions and housing development. In addition, MCLT has been part of a larger effort to create a unified front among four Hawaiian land trusts, forming the Hawaii Islands Land Trust (HILT), which has resulted in the protection of more than 17,000 acres at 20 different sites.\The MCLT works with landowners to protect a variety of land types, including shorelines, farms, ranches, cultural sites, traditional Hawaiian fishing ponds, native forests, and wetlands. They use easements to limit any development potential and specify what can and cannot be done on a property.

For land-rich but cash-strapped families, these agreements reduce wealth taxes and allow land to be transmitted from generation to generation. The Coastal Land Program supports sustainable alternatives for coastal erosion management, including programs for beach and dune restoration and guidelines for other “flexible” coastal protection approaches through the DLNR Coastal Erosion Management Plan (COEMAP).\The Maui Coastal Land Trust is an essential organization that helps protect Maui's coastal lands for current and future generations. It works with landowners to protect a variety of land types while also providing sustainable alternatives for coastal erosion management. The MCLT is committed to connecting government agencies with private landowners and community groups in order to ensure that Maui's shorelines, coastal landscapes, and cultural resources are preserved for generations to come.

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