Maui News

Hawai‘i Land Trust Receives Donation from Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos

September 2, 2021, 6:53 AM HST
* Updated September 2, 7:03 AM
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Ahupuaʻa Stewards 2021. PC: Hawai‘i Land Trust (HILT)

Amazon founder and Executive Chair, Jeff Bezos has made two more personal donations to nonprofits on Maui, bringing the growing list of philanthropy on Maui for the e-commerce executive to four.  Today’s announcements include monetary donations of unspecified amounts to the Hawaiʻi Land Trust and the Mālama Family Recovery Center.

Earlier this week, Bezos contributed personal donations to the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center and The Maui Farm.

Hawai‘i Land Trust gift will support the organization’s work in the communities of Waiheʻe, Hāna, Kaupō, and Kahului-Wailuku:

Hāmoa Beach. File photo credit: Kapena Kalama
  • Waiheʻe: Hawaiʻi Land Trust will begin restoration of the ancient Kapoho fishpond. Community members and Hawaiʻi Land Trust have dreamed of undertaking this monumental task for years, and envision the restored fishpond providing food for the community, habitat for native species, and capturing sediment to create a healthier reef ecosystem.  
  • Hāna: HILT is assisting the Hāna community to protect an entire coastline from Mokae (Hāmoa Beach) to Makaʻalae (Waioka Pond), in partnership with nonprofit Ke Ao Hāliʻi, Maui County, and the State of Hawaiʻi. The coastal pasturelands have immense cultural significance and historic sites, and are used by the local community for subsistence fishing and gathering. HILT’s efforts to protect this coast began in 2002 with the conservation of 45 acres at Makaʻalae Point. Now, 20 years later, this gift will help support Hawaiʻi Land Trust’s work to complete the protection of this vital coastline, expected in early 2022 – protecting 2 contiguous miles of Hāna coastline. The lands will then be owned by the Hāna community through Ke Ao Hāliʻi, with conservation easements held by Hawaiʻi Land Trust and Maui County. 
  • Kaupō: At Hawaiʻi Land Trust’s Nuʻu Refuge, this funding will support ongoing stewardship through endangered bird habitat restoration at Nuʻu wetland, as well as community volunteer programs.
  • Kahului-Wailuku: This funding lays the foundation for a community farm, and native plant sand dune restoration at Hawaiʻi Land Trust’s park property near Kahului Harbor. 

“This generous gift will directly and perpetually benefit the health of Maui’s lands and communities,” said Laura Kaakua, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hawaiʻi Land Trust. “Mahalo piha. We greatly appreciate support for our ongoing land protection, stewardship and educational programs, especially during this time of increased need.”

Hawaiʻi Land Trust protects and stewards the lands that sustain Hawaiʻi, and teaches future generations to do the same.

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To date, Hawaiʻi Land Trust has protected more than 21,500 acres throughout the Islands – 2,100 acres are Hawaiʻi Land Trust owned public preserves open for everyone to enjoy, and over 19,000 acres are protected via conservation easements restricting privately owned lands. HILT protects coastlines, wahi kupuna (Hawaiian cultural landscapes), and lands that grow healthy food for Hawaiʻi’s people.

Ahupuaʻa Stewards program 2021. PC: Hawai‘i Land Trust (HILT)

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