Hawaiʻi Land Trust is a 501 (c) (nonprofit) land conservation organization that was established in 2002 with the primary goal of protecting 227 acres of coastal dunes and wetlands, now known as the Waihe'e Dune Refuge. Two decades ago, two environmental activists took it upon themselves to create the Maui Coastal Land Trust, which has since been successful in preserving thousands of acres of coastal land in their natural state. The trust works with landowners who are interested in protecting open spaces and conserving land by either acquiring land or conservation easements or assisting them in the acquisition of conservation land or easements. In addition to facilitating the first community recycling initiative in Maui through the Maui Recycling Group, they have also helped save several historic Maui sites from development, such as the Palauea area.
The Maui Coastal Land Trust was founded 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”. It works to connect government agencies with private landowners and community groups in an effort to protect Maui's shorelines, coastal landscapes, and cultural resources. It also ensures that development conforms to the historical and cultural purposes of the land and defends the aloha 'āina values of deep love, respect and care for the land. The trust is led by two environmental activists who moved to Maui from Honolulu in 1979. They have a diverse background in public service, conservation, agriculture and land management, including positions in Maui County, Maui Land & Pineapple Co., Hawaii Islands Land Trust, Hawaii Natural Areas Reserve System, and Legacy Land Conservation Commission.
The Maui Coastal Land Trust is an important organization that works to protect Maui's coastal lands for current and future generations. Through its efforts, it has been able to preserve thousands of acres of coastal lands on Maui. It negotiates and uses easements to limit any development potential and specify what can and cannot be done on a property.