West Maui businesses recognized for demonstrating a commitment to sustainability
KAANAPALI – Last month, over 120 people attended the seventh annual Ridge to Reef Rendezvous – an annual community celebration of ridge to reef environmental stewardship in West Maui – at Kahekili Beach Park (Old Airport Beach) in Kaanapali.
The event featured an Ocean-Friendly Business Ceremony, established to honor 30 businesses and properties that are part of four recognition and certification programs: West Maui Kumuwai’s Ocean-Friendly Landscaper and Property Pledges, Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean-Friendly Restaurant program, and Hawaii Ecotourism Association’s Sustainable Tour Operator certification program.
West Maui County Councilwoman Elle Cochran, who presided over the event as emcee, shared her overall reaction to the event and the ceremony: “What a winning combination – education and fun – for a positive outcome for our makai and mauka. I was extremely impressed with the turnout of hotels, condos, landscapers, restaurants and businesses who took the pledge to be better stewards willingly, and I appreciate the various government entities who were there, too: the Division of Aquatic Resources and Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, and Rob Parsons, our environmental coordinator for the county.”
Duane Sparkman, engineering/landscaping manager at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa and one of the honorees for having taken the Property and Landscaper pledges, noted, “I have been a proponent of change in the landscape industry, here, on Maui. With the West Maui Kumuwai pledge, we can really hone in on what is, truly, pono landscape practices.”
Lauren Blickley, program manager with the Hawaii Ecotourism Association, also commented on the ceremony: “Hawaii Ecotourism Association is proud to see so many West Maui tour companies committed to sustainability and protecting Maui’s natural and cultural resources. The Ridge to Reef Rendezvous is a great opportunity to connect with local community members and promote sustainable tourism from a community level.”
The landscapers recognized were: A Nutt Nurseries, Dragonfly Bamboo LLC, E’Scapes, He-Man Services, Ho’oulu ‘Aina Farms & Landscape Services, Kaanapali Operations Association, Keep It Green Residential & Commercial Landscape, Lokahi Landscaping, Malama Lawns, Mauiscapes LLC, Mel’s Yard Service, Mohala Garden Design and Maintenance, SGS Hawaii, West Maui Lawn and Landscape, and Z.E.L.MZero Emission Landscape Maintenance LLC.
Properties recognized at the event were: Kahana Sunset, Maui Kai, Maui Sands, Mahinahina Beach, Polynesian Shores, Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas, and Westin Maui Resort & Spa.
Tour operators recognized were: Aloha Kayaks Maui, Atlantis Adventures, Hawaiian Paddle Sports, Maui Kayak Adventures, Maui Nei Native Expeditions, Pacific Whale Foundation, and Trilogy Excursions
The Ocean-Friendly Restaurants recognized were Choice Health Bar, and Bamboo Fresh.
The event was coordinated by partners within the West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative (R2R), West Maui Kumuwai Campaign, Project S.E.A.-Link, and Kaanapali Makai Watch.
Event sponsors included the Hawaii Tourism Authority, state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Honua Kai West Maui Community Fund, and the Kaanapali North Beach Masters Association.
Lunch was generously donated by CJ’s Deli & Diner, Sangrita Grill, and the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas; the latter also sponsored recycling onsite for the event