Maui is facing historical challenges. The population of the island continues to increase, tourism is breaking records, but our own children cannot afford a home. Sea level rise erodes and threatens housing, businesses, and vital corridors of transportation. Our vast, fertile agricultural lands lie fallow while we import the bulk of what we eat. What is left to remind us of our Hawaiian history, and the bones of the kūpuna, are being hauled away or buried under new construction.
However, Maui can have a very different future, one that meets the needs of its people while continuing to offer its beauty and cultural legacy to the world to enjoy.
Hukilike No Maui – Together for Maui – Coalition seeks to bring different communities that care about affordable housing, agriculture, and conservation together to create a brighter future for Maui. The end of commercial sugarcane cultivation on thousands of acres of Central Maui land poses challenges, but also a tremendous opportunity to address many of the long-standing problems facing our island.
The coalition was started by long-time Maui advocates for affordable housing, agriculture, and the environment who understand that only by working together and identifying land use solutions can we meet the needs of the whole community. No single person or organization has answers to all the challenges. Collectively and through working closely with the community, they believe big, innovative solutions can be found.
Solutions to use regenerative farming techniques to grow food and energy crops. Housing solutions such as State and County investment in affordable housing construction, as well as, trust ownership of land for permanent affordability. Green space corridors as buffers around population centers, with walkways and bikeways and designs that encourage a small environmental footprint, with wastewater reuse, distributed energy resources, microgrids, and public transportation. Conservation for all future generations of our special places.
Much to do, but where to start? Hukilike No Maui is asking the owner of the former cane lands – Alexander & Baldwin – to make available 15% of those 36,000 acres for regenerative agriculture and a sustainable community.
If you would like to get involved or learn more, go to togetherformaui.org and sign the petition for “15% for the future” and share this important initiative. Together we can create a brighter future for our keiki.
Image Credit: http://togetherformaui.org/