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Our Story


Established in 2012, Kalanihale’s original goal was to provide access to education for the youth of Milolii by creating a charter school. We made great progress on that goal by first creating a Virtual Academy in cooperation with the Kua o Ka La Hawaiian Charter School which continues to operate today. We are now working with local partners who are leading construction of a community center that will make us eligible to build education for all. As a fishing village, education on Hawaiian traditional and marine resource management has always been a core part of our programs with community youth. As we engaged with our youth, we started recognizing the broad range of needs in our community and expanded towards cultural, environmental, social, and family issues. As our non-profit grew from its small beginnings, we also realized that we could reach the entire community and not just the younger generation. Today our organization has branched into a variety of issues that affect the entire community and we are seeing favorable results that will help everyone with their own situation. We are now implementing a range of projects including: a marine conservation program, Hawaiian culture programs including Hula and instruction in traditional fishing; extracurricular activities for youth such as volleyball; and educational programs that are focused on our marine and fisheries resources such as Lawaia Ohana Camps in which community families come together to learn and celebrate traditional Hawaiian fishing culture.


Kalanihale’s mission is to improve the educational, environmental, and cultural well-being of community members of Milolii and South Kona.


Our vision is that Milolii is a vibrant and thriving Hawaiian fishing community with a healthy environment including abundant marine resources and successful families that have a strong sense of place and identity, a pride in their Hawaiian culture, and have a healthy quality of life socially, economically, and culturally.


Kalanihale has been sponsoring several programs in pursuit of our mission and vision, including a Virtual Academy of the Kua o Ka La Hawaiian Charter School to provide educational opportunities for youth in our community and Lawaia Ohana (Fishing Family) Camps in which community families come together to celebrate and actively practice traditional Hawaiian fishing culture and stewardship. Kalanihale also supports the Milolii youth volley ball team, student media projects with the Hiki No program of Hawaii Public Television, a partnership with Paa Pono Milolii on the Milolii opelu (mackerel scad) traditional fishing project, and a community Hula program. The individuals operating Kalanihale have been involved in marine resource management in Milolii for more than 10 years. They each participated in successful efforts to establish a Community-based Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA) in Milolii and in projects to improve sustainable management of marine resources including the traditional opelu fishing project, Makai Watch, and marine monitoring.




Ka'imi Kaupiko




Our logo is the ʻupena (fishing net) which each ʻohana of Miloliʻi had and well cared for.  The ʻupena is a symbol of our mission – to harvest the necessary resources and to feed for our community. It is a reminder of the maiau (ingenious) skill it takes to make an ʻupena, care for it, and to use it for the subsistence living here in Miloliʻi Village.


The ʻōpelu is one of the most prized iʻa that Miloliʻi is most famous for.  It is our history and symbolizes the marine resources that we depend on, therefore we protect, mālama, and feed them as well.


The two au (currents) represent the currents of Kona and Kaʻū that run our coastal and deep waters. As well, Miloliʻi ʻohana have origins all along this coast, from Kaʻū to North Kona.


Ku`u Mau Kūpuna

Eia kuʻu mau kūpuna o Miloliʻi.  


In all the work we do, we keep our focus and we source our strength from all of you and the legacy youʻve have nurtured and left for us.

Me ʻoukou nō ke aloha nui o mākou!


Kaʻimi Kaupiko

Nā Alaka`i

Kalanihale is led by a talented group of life learners with deep respect and love for the life ways of Miloliʻi and the mission of Kalanihale.  

Collectively, we bring a breadth of experience to our hopes and dreams that Kalanihale can be that change agent for a future that helps protect and preserve the unique culture that lives within and among us.  Let our story shine.

Melveen Kaupiko

Kaʻimi Kaupiko

Melveen Kaupiko

Lupua Mora

Nā Kāko`o

Kalanihale sustains various programs and new programs are always on the horizon – programs that support our mission and vision for a vibrant and healthy community. It is with the diligence and steady support of our kākoʻo that our organization is able to thrive. Embrace, educate, and empower – the values we believe in and we commit to, for our community.   We all contribute what we can and collectively support to make a positive impact on our community.  We encourage you to join us to create a better place! 


Gail Garoutte

Fiscal Accountant


Uʻilani Naipo
Miloliʻi CBSFA Program Administrator


Lei Kaupu

Program Coordinator, Education & Culture


Lani Waite-Crawford
Program Support

Laila 2.jpeg

Laila Kaupu
Marine Monitoring & Educational Outreach Coordinator


Will Mae-Huihui
Miloliʻi Makai Watch Coordinator, Marine Survey & Monitoring, Lead Diver

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