The refuge has an active Volunteer Program, both on- and off-site for habitat restoration, wildlife monitoring, environmental education, and maintenance projects. Our volunteers provide an invaluable service toward our goals to protect habitat and endangered species, support our partnerships, and become a part of our dedication toward community-based projects
Volunteers are engaged in a diversity of refuge projects based on their interest, availability, and capabilities:
Sea Turtle Dawn Patrol. From June 1 through September 30 each year, volunteers are scheduled to conduct early morning walks on beaches having a history of sea turtle nesting. These beaches are throughout south Kīhei, Lahaina, Waihee-Waiehu, and other north shore areas. By walking beaches in the early morning, volunteers have a fresh beach to look for turtle tracks from the previous night. Once observed, they contact the refuge or the Division of Aquatic Resources who are partners in the Maui sea turtle monitoring program. A volunteer orientation is held each year around mid-May.
|Sea Turtle Dawn Patrol - Photo credit USFWS
||Wetland Restoration. A majority of the volunteer needs is with wetland restoration projects to enhance habitat for endangered Hawaiian stilts and Hawaiian coots. These projects include invasive weed control, propagating native plants in the greenhouse, and out-planting natives into the wetlands. It can be tough work but the results are impressive!
|Volunteers from Seabury Hall and The Nature Conservancy
removing kiawe for entrance road landscaping - Photo credit USFWS
With great help from Maui Community Correctional Center, the Keālia turtle fence project is completed. The Alexander & Baldwin Foundation donated $15,000 toward the project which paid for the bobcat/auger and miscellaneous supplies, and Kuhea Paracuelles, Environmental Coordinator in the Mayor's office, received donations from Marmac Ace Hardware, Lowes, and Walmart.
Portions of the old fence will be maintained to provide further protection for the sea turtles. ‘Aki‘aki grass was planted in some sections to help hold the sand in place.
|Turtle fence - Photo credit USFWS
A few of the other on-going Volunteer projects include:
• Sea turtle fence repair
• Kokua Keālia– coastal dune restoration
• Environmental education – assist refuge staff with education groups
• Outreach – participation in Earth Day events on Maui and Moloka‘i and other exhibits
We always welcome other ideas to protect natural resources and community projects. Groups interested in volunteering, whether they are single or multiple visits, contact the Refuge Manager to schedule an opportunity!
The refuge’s partners for recruiting volunteers include:
The County of Maui’s Department of Housing and Human Concerns, which provides opportunities for seniors to learn and grow through a variety of ongoing programs on Maui, Moloka‘i and Lana‘i. The RSVP provides volunteer opportunities for people 55 and older, based on their interests and skills.
The mission of the Kaunoa Senior Services is to “continuously create those special and exceptional experiences and opportunities which will make the retirement years of the elderly feel like the “best” years of their lives”.
Kaunoa Senior Services
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)
401 Alakapa Place
Paia, HI 96779
The Volunteer Center is administered by the Department of Housing and Human Concerns with the mission to “promote the engagement of all residents and visitors in volunteerism, which in turn enhances the community. The center will be sponsoring and co-sponsoring programs and activities that support all aspects of volunteerism”.
County of Maui Volunteer Center
One Main Plaza
2200 Main Street, Ste. 601
Wailuku, HI 96793
Hawai‘i Youth Conservation Corp is a hands-on learning experience for teen-aged students interested in protecting and restoring Hawai‘i’s natural resources. The summer program runs from mid-June to mid-July and students receive a stipend and UH college credits, if eligible. Team leaders are also needed. For more information call Pono Pacific on Oahu (808.735.1221) or online at: Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps