It’s a new year, and many of us have resolved to volunteer for our communities in 2016. For those of us fortunate enough to visit or call Maui home, it’s possible to volunteer and enjoy a day at the beach! From beach cleanup and reef restoration to protecting endangered plants and animals, volunteer opportunities for ocean lovers abound on Maui.

Ocean Volunteer Opportunities

Maui’s beaches and coastal waters are in trouble. Delicate reefs are damaged by boats and unwary swimmers, while endangered marine species are threatened by trash and habitat loss. On shore, native plants found nowhere else are disappearing; crowded out by invasive species or eaten by feral goats and deer. Maui’s ancient fishponds are also in danger of disappearing forever. Thanks to the efforts of local organizations, and thousands of hours of volunteers’ time, Maui’s beloved beaches, reefs and fishponds still stand a chance.

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Volunteering at your local fish ponds, beach or marine sanctuary benefits everyone. With just half a day of your time, you can help protect local wildlife, educate others and bring the community together.

If you’re looking for ways to  give back to our island community and spend some quality time at the beach, read on for some exciting opportunities:

Help rebuild Ko`ie`ie Fishpond’s rock walls or take visitors on outrigger canoe tours through `Ao`oa o Na Loko I`a O Maui

Educate visitors about reef etiquette and keep the shoreline free of trash and invasive species through the ‘Ahihi-Kina‘u Natural Area Reserve Volunteer Corps

Stand by to rescue stranded sea turtles or educate visitors about Hawaii’s humpback whales through the Hawaiian Island Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

Photo by Gabi Sakamoto (Gah’Be)