Kauai News

Blue Dolphin Charters Donates to Nā Pali Coast ‘Ohana

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On World Oceans Day last month, Blue Dolphin Charters collected a portion of its proceeds from all tours to donate to a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of the natural and cultural resources of the Nā Pali Coast.

The family-owned company donated $1,500 to Nā Pali Coast ‘Ohana on July 14 to help ensure the protection of cultural and archaeological sites, endangered species and rare native ecosystems. The nonprofit also works to eradicate invasive species, improve trails, and enhance visitor services and develop park education programs.

“Nā Pali Coast ʻOhana is always grateful for donations received from those who align with our mission of protecting this Wahi Pana for the generation,” stated ‘Ohana in an email exchange with Kaua‘i Now. “2022 marks the 30-year anniversary of starting this relationship with this Wahi Pana.”


In Hawaiian, Wahi Pana is a location or site that is legendary, celebrated, or noteworthy.

In 1995, a handful of Kauaʻi residents met and formed the Nā Pali Coast ʻOhana. They were concerned about the impacts of years of public use of the more than 6,000-acre park, particularly the destination valley of Kalalau. This heavy use, combined with a lack of proper management, was having a detrimental effect on the coast and its unique natural and cultural resources, particularly along the Kalalau Trail. The Nā Pali Coast ʻOhana became an integral part of the management team, organizing large valley and beach cleanups and working with state staff on important tasks such as the reintroduction of native flora.

“During this time, most of our efforts have been achieved through unsolicited donations that we receive randomly through the years,” continued ‘Ohana.


Blue Dolphin Charters, is owned and operated by Terry Donnelly and his daughter, General Manager, Shaye Donnelly Clarke who says the July 14 donation was their first to Michael Shintani with Nā Pali Coast ʻOhana. Throughout the year they work with the local community through silent auction donations, monetary donations, and volunteer time.

“The NaPali Coast is a main attraction on our island for many of our visitors whether by boat, air, kayak, hiking, etc. so we believe it is very important to invest time and energy to maintaining the majestic qualities of our playground and office,” stated Clarke.

Blue Dolphin runs the largest two motor-sailing tours off the Nā Pali Coast and the forbidden island of Ni‘ihau. Clarke noted that the Department of Land and Natural Resources regulates a vessel’s capacity to no more than 49 passengers at a given time.


“We can actually seat about 98 on one boat, and about 108 on the other, but any boat with more than 49 passengers is required to sail at a three-mile distance from land,” said Clarke, who noted the department’s efforts to mitigate over-tourism near shorelines. “They’re just trying to protect the waters.”

The boat tour agency further emphasized its commitment to protecting the environment by informing every patron about the dangers of sunscreen’s harmful chemicals to the water.

“A part of our job is to educate people, ” continued Clarke, adding that the crew actively learns from others as well. ” Cover up or wear reef-safe sun protection. Be aware the ocean and its surroundings are alive.”

To donate or for more information on Nā Pali Coast ʻOhana click here.

For more information on Blue Dolphin Charters click here.

Amanda Kurth
Amanda lives in Hanapēpē. She has had a love for newspapers and journalism since she was 12 years old. She attended the University of Oregon where she obtained a journalism degree. She interned at the Hermiston Herald. She has been a Kauai Now contributor since June 2022.
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