Natural Resources

To respect, enhance and perpetuate Hawai‘i's natural resources to ensure a high level of satisfaction for residents and visitors.

Natural Resources

The Hawaiian Islands are some of the most ecologically diverse in a single location. These islands hold 27 of 38 Holdridge Lifezones, making them the single most habitat rich place on Earth. Their beauty unsurpassed and their fragility equally so. HTA is committed to supporting programs that protect their verdant beauty for generations to come.

HTA’s Kahu ‘Āina (formerly known as Aloha ʻĀina) program is focused on the lasting value of stewardship by responsible community-based entities with an emphasis on ‘āina-Kānaka (land-human) relationships and knowledge. The collective objective is to manage, conserve and revitalize Hawai‘i’s natural resources and environment.

A key program sponsored by HTA is the funding of the Ala Wai Watershed Collaborative. This public-private partnership with a diverse set of participating entities is working toward a holistic and systems-based solution to implement a regional plan and funding mechanism to improve the health of the overall watershed flowing into Māmala Bay and Waikīkī Beach. 

In addition to supporting community programs, HTA partners with the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to enhance its efforts to protect Hawai‘i’s environment from mauka to makai (from the tops of our sacred mountains to the waters that give us life).



Kahu ʻĀina

The Kahu ʻĀina program (formerly known as Aloha ʻĀina) is part of HTA’s commitment toward Mālama Kuʻu Home (caring for my beloved home) and the interacting pillars of its 2025 Strategic Plan.  The Aloha ʻĀina program provides funding support to responsible community-based entities with an emphasis on ʻāina-Kānaka (land-human) relationships and knowledge that manage, preserve, and regenerate Hawai‘i’s natural resources and environment.

For 2020, HTA awarded $2,081,000 in funding through its Aloha ‘Āina program to 34 nonprofit programs statewide in their efforts to maintain, preserve and protect Hawai‘i’s natural resources. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and availability of funding the overall value of each project’s award was reduced by 50% in May 2020 and an RFP for this program was not issued for projects and events in 2021.

For 2022, the Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) was contracted by HTA to administer the 2022 Aloha ʻĀina program. On September 15, 2021 HCF issued an RFP seeking proposals from the community and qualified nonprofit organizations to provide funding support for projects that preserve, manage and enhance Hawai‘i’s natural resources. Aloha ʻĀina Program awardees were notified and a news release went out on January 6th announcing that $1,575,000 in funding will support 31 community-based programs in CY 2022. 

Click here to view the news release and to see the organizations funded in 2022.

For the remainder of Calendar Year 2023 through June 2024, Hawaiʻi Community Foundation (HCF) will continue to administer the Aloha ʻĀina program. HTA is providing $1,350,000 in financial support to community-based natural resource programs and community entities with an emphasis on ‘āina-kānaka (land-human) relationships and knowledge that manage, preserve, and regenerate Hawai‘i’s natural resources and environment. HTA has awarded 25 community organizations and projects that continue to preserve and regenerate Hawai‘i’s natural resources and cultural sites. See the full press release and discover how destination management and stewardship is advancing in our islands on HTA’s Holomua Site:

For 2024, The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) is encouraging the community to submit applications for funding support through its upcoming programs: Kahu ʻĀina, Kūkulu Ola, the Resort Area Hawaiian Culture Initiative, Community Enrichment, and Signature Events. On October 3, 2023 HTA, in partnership with Kilohana, unveiled a digital portal, ‘Umeke, Powered by Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, for the community to submit all applications online.

HTA will provide funding support to nonprofit organizations, community groups, practitioners, projects, and events occurring in Hawai‘i. Kilohana, HTA’s contractor which is responsible for developing and implementing destination stewardship initiatives statewide, is administering these programs.

ʻUmeke is a gourd or bowl, like one may use to hold poi or water. In the context of these programs, ‘Umeke ( is the repository for community funding support, as guided by HTA’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan and Destination Management Action Plans.

Applications for funding support for projects in CY2024 is now open: HTA program Kahu ʻĀina (formerly known as Aloha ʻĀina) on ‘Umeke.

For more information about this initiative, contact Maka Casson-Fisher at (808) 973-2266 or via email at [email protected]

Mālama Hawai‘i

In addition to supporting community based partners, the HTA provides funds to the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to enhance their efforts in protecting Hawai‘i's environment from ma uka to ma kai (from the tops of our sacred mountains to the waters that give us life). Support provided included in room messaging, new outdoor interpretative signs in six languages including ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language), as well as support to broadcast three documentaries on preserving our natural resources. 

The HTA also works closely with the Department of Land and Natural Resources to guide the expenditure of $3,000,000 in accordance with the 2016 HTA Strategic Plan. Funds primarily support the Division of State Parks and Na Ala Hele (Trail) programs of the DLNR.

Natural Resources Videos
The following videos were produced to increase awareness to residents and visitors about the fragility of Hawai‘i's natural environment and resources.  It is essential to educate the public, both visitors and residents about protecting our natural resources so that our islands continue to be a top choice to live and visit.

Maʻemaʻe Toolkit

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Partnership Opportunities

HTA's Global Marketing Team offers a variety of consumer, travel trade, and MCI marketing opportunities. Partnership opportunities include digital and social media marketing, public relations, travel trade, and meeting sales programs.

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