Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
Caring for the Land in Hawaii - A Success Story
EPA's Community Action for a Renewed Environment program is a competitive grant program that offers communities an innovative way to address the risks from multiple sources of toxic pollution in their environment. The program encourages local organizations, including non-profits, businesses, schools and governments create partnerships that implement local solutions to reduce releases of toxic pollutants and minimize people's exposure to them, improving the environment through local action.
Pacific American Foundation
Environmental Protection Agency
Debbie Lowe Liang
CARE Project Officer
With nearly $400,000 in funding since 2008 from the US EPA's Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) grant program, the Pacific American Foundation worked with the Native Hawaiian community of the Waianae Coast in Oahu to clean up the environment and to reconnect residents to the Hawaiian tradition of mālama `āina (caring for the land).
The Pacific American Foundation worked with community members from the Wai`anae Coast to address residential and commercial illegal dumping, as well as pollution from farming. To address residential illegal dumping they developed a brochure, public service announcement, and sign waving campaign (which aired on the news) to encourage proper trash disposal for the Waianae community; started a cigarette butt campaign to prevent cigarette butts from being thrown on the ground, collecting over 2,100 cigarette butts; held 14 beach cleanup events, and collected over 1,300 pounds of trash on International Beach Cleanup day. To address commercial illegal dumping they served on the State of Hawaii's Tire Task Force to prevent and control the problem of abandoned tireds and started a drive-around program to identify and report illegal dumping incidents. To address nonpoint pollution, they hosted a workshop on integrated pest management for produce farmers and a workshop to teach pig farmers how to properly manage waste.
The Pacific American Foundation and the residents of Waianae Coast have had great success in revitalizing mālama `āina, empowering community members to continue environmental protection beyond the life of the grant.