Out + About

Maui vis­i­tors turn their is­land visit into an en­rich­ing ex­pe­ri­ence

Where Maui - - CONTENTS - BY SIMPLICIO PARAGAS

Is­land vis­i­tors vol­un­teer to help lo­cal non­prof­its raise aware­ness and funds.

”I want to cre­ate what I call a ‘blue mind­shift.’ In­stead of go­ing green, think ‘deep-blue life.’ It’s more than a beach cleanup.“

Vol­un­tourism is a port­man­teau that is heard more of­ten these days at lo­cal re­sorts across the world. The main premise is straight­for­ward: vol­un­teer while play­ing tourist. Lead­ing a beach clean-up with Cana­dian vis­i­tors, Jaret and Kirra Lock­hart, Zane Kekoa Sch­weitzer talks about shards of mi­croplas­tics and their ori­gins. He speaks of mi­cro­bi­ol­ogy and he con­sid­ers it a moral im­per­a­tive to keep our beaches and oceans clean.

“I want to cre­ate what I call a ‘blue mind­shift,’” says the 24-year-old pro­fes­sional water­man, who led the in­au­gu­ral Novice En­thu­si­ast ac­tiv­ity as the first fea­tured Westin Maui Water­man ini­tia­tive. “In­stead of go­ing green, think ‘deep­blue life.’ It’s more than just about a beach cleanup, it’s a par­a­digm shift. It’s be­ing con­sci­en­tious about the choices you make and tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for those choices— good or bad.”

The Westin vol­un­teer pro­gram al­lows re­sort guests to give back to the lo­cal com­mu­nity by par­tic­i­pat­ing in thought­fully de­signed ocean ad­ven­tures with paddle board­ers, boat cap­tains, ca­noe rac­ers and oth­ers who want to share their re­spect for the water and pas­sion for the en­vi­ron­ment. These wa­ter­men and women will also ed­u­cate vis­i­tors about the na­tional marine sanc­tu­ary fronting Kā’ana­pali Beach and the im­por­tance of “malama ‘āina” (“pro­tect­ing the land”).

“Sur­rounded by water and in the in­cred­i­ble setting of the largest area of the Hawai­ian Is­lands Hump­back Whale Na­tional Marine Sanc­tu­ary, we are most ex­cited to share this new en­deavor,” says Westin Maui Re­sort & Spa’s gen­eral man­ager Thomas Foti. “We are de­lighted to pro­vide a unique, mean­ing­ful and mind­ful travel ex­pe­ri­ence that we hope stays with guests when they re­turn home and con­tin­ues the malama ‘āina spirit that is so im­por­tant in Hawai’i.”

Also with a sim­i­lar goal of keep­ing our wa­ters thriv­ing and healthy, Tril­ogy Ex­cur­sions has led the vis­i­tor in­dus­try in pre­serv­ing and pro­tect­ing Maui’s pre­cious reefs. In 2010, this snorkel- and whale-watch­ing com­pany part­nered with the Surfrider Foundation Maui Chap­ter and be­gan its highly suc­cess­ful Blue ‘Aina cam­paign. This monthly sail takes con­cerned lo­cals and like-minded vis­i­tors on one of its state-of-the-art cata­ma­rans to a reef where the ob­ject is to find and re­move de­bris.

“We’re find­ing less and less trash, which is the con­sis­tent trend,” says Ma­gen Schi­fil­iti, Tril­ogy’s con­ser­va­tion and ed­u­ca­tion di­rec­tor. “We con­sider these out­ings as a ‘float­ing work­shop and com­mu­nity ser­vice.’ We con­duct water qual­ity test­ing right on the boat and collect data so par­tic­i­pants can see that their ef­forts make a difference.”

At the Hy­att Re­gency Maui Re­sort and Spa, Fred Findlen en­cour­ages ho­tel guests to get in­volved with the Su­san G. Komen Hawai’i. For the past four years, water en­thu­si­asts—of all skill lev­els—have par­tic­i­pated in a non­com­pet­i­tive event, which will be held on Oct. 13 as part of Breast Can­cer Aware­ness Month.

“The an­nual Maui Paddle for a Cure is very spe­cial to us,” says Findlen, gen­eral man­ager at Hy­att Re­gency Maui Re­sort and Spa. “With the sup­port of the com­mu­nity and our guests, it has raised more than $115,000 for Su­san G. Komen Hawai’i to date. This year, we aim to en­cour­age more peo­ple than ever be­fore to join us in the fight against breast can­cer with the ad­di­tion of Ca­banas for a Cure to our other fundrais­ing ef­forts.”

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