Hotels, groups team up to malama ‘aina

  • Contributed by Surfrider Kaua‘i

    Volunteers with Surfrider Kaua‘i cut a net from the sand.

PO‘IPU — Visitors can learn how to embrace Kaua‘i’s cultural actions and activities or “malama ‘aina” — caring for and nurturing Kaua‘i’s land and natural resources — through Surfrider Foundation’s partnership with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Malama Hawai‘i Program.

“We’re inviting travelers to experience Kaua‘i on a deeper level, with a greater emphasis on connecting with the community and our culture,” said Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kaua‘i Vistors Bureau.

“Our goal is to attract travelers who will leave Hawai‘i better than when they arrived. The Malama Hawai‘i and Ocean Friendly Visitors programs give us the opportunity to let travelers know that it’s not only time to come back to Kaua‘i, (but it’s also) time to give back to Kaua‘i,” she said.

HTA, in partnership with a statewide alliance of private industry partners including hotels and volunteer organizations, is encouraging regenerative tourism by giving travelers an opportunity to stay an extra day at no charge if they participate in a “voluntourism” activity.

One of the activities is Solo Beach Cleanups, which is a component of the Surfrider Kaua‘i Ocean Friendly Visitors Program.

Hotels, resorts and condominium complexes that become Ocean Friendly Visitor partners receive co-branded promotional materials of all program components, beach-cleanup kits, instruction guides, an opportunity for participating guests to be featured on social media, and more.

“The alignment of Surfrider Kaua‘i’s Ocean Friendly Visitors Program with the goals of Malama Kaua‘i make them an ideal partner to carry out our program,” Kanoho said.

“Many of our current and potential hotel and resort partners have expressed interest in promoting Solo Beach Cleanups as their ‘voluntourism’ activity. The Ocean Friendly Visitors Program provides them with a turnkey solution to make this happen, and we’re excited to welcome them as a partner.”

Hotels can also offer guests the option of joining weekly Surfrider Kaua‘i Ocean Friendly Visitors Programs like the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa in Po‘ipu, which will have a beach cleanup on Wednesday, July 7, at Shipwreck’s Beach, from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Cleanup instructions

• Check-in at Beach Wedding Location; park at the Shipwreck’s parking lot and walk along the beach path;

• Debris sacks, gloves, snacks and water igloos for refillable bottles will be provided;

• Just show up. For questions, contact Scott with Surfrider Kaua‘i at 816-781-5883.

“The Grand Hyatt Kauai is known for promoting malama ‘aina — caring for our land and culture,” said Cynthia Welti, Surfrider Kaua‘i chair. “They’ve been a great supporter of Surfrider Kaua‘i for many years, hosting beach cleanups, environmental-planning forums and more, and we’re very pleased to have them join our Ocean Friendly Visitors Program.”

As a partner in the program, Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i will help guests learn ways in which they can volunteer to leave Kaua‘i just a bit better than when they arrived, by keeping Kaua‘i’s beaches clean and beautiful; minimizing use of plastics; protecting fragile coral reefs; protecting marine life; practicing COVID-19 etiquette to prevent personal protective equipment debris; and dining responsibly.

Guests will be able to check out beach-cleanup kits for solo family cleanups as they explore the island or volunteer for scheduled Surfrider Kaua‘i cleanups.

“Surfrider Kaua‘i’s Ocean Friendly Visitors Program aligns very well with Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i’s Enrich program, which provides guests with a way to give back to our island community through volunteer experiences that protect Kaua‘i’s natural resources,” said Diann Hartman, Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i’s director of marketing communications. “We’re looking forward to being a part of the program and are excited to kick off on July 7.”

This article was updated Thursday, July 1 at 5:03 p.m. to clarify when the cleanup would occur.


Stephanie Shinno, education and business reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or

  1. I saw a Vampire once July 1, 2021 2:06 am Reply

    This is a good idea. Any tourist would know that Kaua’i is one of the places on their list to vacation at. If there were other destinations better, they would have gone there. Returning tourist also must make a choice. The choices are endless.

    I think Kaua’i is competing with Mexico. Puerto Vallarta. This tourist town is packed with activities. Kaua’i must highlight the activities for tourist to do. And they can learn too from Puerto Vallarta.

  2. Jennifer Harper July 1, 2021 3:38 am Reply

    I love this. My husband and I have been coming for decades and we always do at least 2 days a week when we are there for Habitat For Humanity Kauai. They taught me how to pour concrete, do roofing, and much more. Love it. Everyone should have an affordable home. Especially Native Hawaiians. It’s your land. And everyone should give back to this glorious place.

  3. BlairJ July 1, 2021 4:23 am Reply

    Is there a list of participating properties? We already have our room reserved, and I’d like to know if our hotel is participating. And for visitors who have not yet chosen a place to stay, it would be helpful to know while making that choice.

  4. nobody July 1, 2021 7:19 am Reply

    Wow, what a good idea. Love Surfrider Foundation.

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