Since its inception 35 years ago, Pacific Whale Foundation has remained committed to not only educating the public about the ocean environment, but also ensuring that our operations are as environmentally friendly as possible. We work to reduce our overall environmental impact, and have been an industry leader when it comes to practices like pumping, and not dumping, waste, replacing styrofoam containers with compostable products and mooring our vessels at snorkel sites instead of dropping anchor on reefs.
A main component of Pacific Whale Foundation trips is also inspiring passengers to take an active role in protecting our oceans – be it through making lifestyle changes or joining one of our many ocean advocacy campaigns.
We are excited to announce that the education and sustainability standards set by Pacific Whale Foundation, and other eco-tour companies throughout Hawai’i, are being officially promoted through the Hawai’i Ecotourism Association’s newly revamped “Sustainable Tourism Certification Program”. Formed in 1994, the Hawai’i Ecotourism Association (HEA) is a nonprofit organization that advocates for ecotourism as a means to protect Hawai’i’s natural environment and native cultures.
Ecotours that receive the Sustainable Tourism Certification must meet specific criteria, including:
- Provide a direct, personal experience of nature for customers;
- Employ environmentally sustainable practices to ensure that their activities do not degrade the environment;
- Maintain a written Sustainability Commitment Statement that guides operations and demonstrates a commitment to HEA Sustainable Tourism principles;
- Make ongoing, positive contributions to the community annually, both economically and in contributing to local conservation initiatives;
- Provide accurate interpretation of resources to guests during tour and ensure that staff are qualified and appropriately trained.
Pacific Whale Foundation is one of only five tour operators on Maui to receive the Sustainable Tourism Certification for the 2014-2016 cycle. We are a proud member of the Hawai’i Ecotourism Association and look forward to promoting the values of sustainability throughout Hawai’i’s tourism industry.