2016 Great American Cleanup Continues!

Have you been noticing a lot of litter along our roads, beaches, and parks? Us, too. That is why we encourage the community of Maui County–residents, visitors, businesses, and community groups–to participate in The Great American Cleanup running now through April 30 to remove litter from our public spaces.

Great American Cleanup volunteers are motivated by the notion that litter-free places allow for an ecosystem’s natural beauty to shine. Native species of plants and animals can thrive in healthy habitats, and people can experience first-hand the richness of Hawai‘i’s pristine environment.

Simply put, it was a beautiful day. Rain was falling on-and-off the whole morning, which can be a bummer, but with the waves pounding the rocks at the Gulch’s edge, the lush vegetation surrounding us, and the healthy stream flow connecting mauka to makai — it was glorious.

Everyone at one point or another stopped what they were doing to soak in the beauty of this place, check out a rogue wave off in the distance, or try to figure out what the seal and turtle were doing rolling around in the water.

Upon a casual glance, Maliko Gulch didn’t look too littered, but volunteers stayed energized throughout the morning and continued to find old plastic and glass bottles, tires, even cassette tapes (!) in the bushes, along the tall grass, and under the tide’s shoreline deposits of natural and man-made debris.

Many people who came out for this cleanup effort hadn’t ever been down to Maliko Gulch. Others were residents or frequent visitors to the area. Regardless of their connection, they all understood the importance of keeping Maliko’s shoreline as litter-free as possible.

Great American Cleanup Kickoff Volunteers at Maliko Gulch

Almost 30 people came out to show Maliko Gulch some love; pictured here are the volunteers at the end of the cleanup.

But Maliko Gulch is not a unique case; there are so many places that require our active attention to keep them clean. Which is why we ask folks from all corners of Maui County to coordinate a cleanup wherever they see a need. We offer some best practices, activity ideas, and an online toolkit to help anyone conduct a Great American Cleanup event in their own neighborhood.

Day in and day out, we can participate in the 2016 Great American Cleanup. Simple acts like picking up litter and reducing waste can have a huge collective impact on the health and resilience of our natural resources locally and globally.

The Great American Cleanup is the country’s largest community improvement program that engages more than 4 million volunteers and participants across the nation to take action in their local communities to create positive change and lasting impact on their environment. Thousands of volunteers took part across the state last year — here’s to a repeat performance with thousands more committed to mālama ‘āina in 2016!

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