l Resources Division of Conservation and Resources (DOCARE) Officer John P. de Jesus is now the new executive director of Malama Maui Nui (formerly known as Community Work Day Program).
“My focus is still the environment, but now it is about educating and empowering the public to know that they too can make a difference,” said de Jesus, who has been on the organization’s board since 2009, in an Aug. 28 press release. “I learned a lot during my time with DOCARE and the common message was that it is all intertwined, inter-related, what we do on land has a direct effect on the ocean. Malama ‘Aina does not have to mean doing everything on a grand scale, it can be simply about picking up after yourself, cleaning your surroundings.”
De Jesus is taking over an organization in operation since 1993 and runs about 350 environmental cleanup projects in the county every year. One of 600 affiliates of Keep America Beautiful, they’ve cleaned marine debris, graffiti and litter, organized recycling drives and beautification projects.