There’s still time for whale lovers to sign up for the first statewide Sanctuary Ocean Count of the season. At strategic locations throughout Hawaii, participants will be stationed from 8 a.m-12:15 p.m. Saturday. Register online at http://sanctuaryoceancount.org.
In addition to the January date, there will be two more counts taking place on Saturdays, Feb. 22 and March 29.
For questions, contact the Sanctuary Ocean Count hotline at (808) 268-3087.
Fiona Langenberger, programs administrator of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, said the award-winning outreach program gives volunteers the opportunity to monitor and record humpback whale behaviors during their stay in Hawaiian waters.
Each year, the Sanctuary Ocean Count is conducted across the islands of Hawaii, Kauai and Oahu, with more than 60 shore sites to choose from on the last Saturdays of January, February and March.
“It’s a chance to observe these majestic creatures off the coasts of Hawaii,” said Langenberger.
The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation supports the education and outreach efforts of the sanctuary.
This year’s T-shirt features artist Brett Roeder’s “First Breath” design, an artistic depiction of a mother humpback whale assisting her newborn calf to take in its first breaths of life. The pattern within the whales is inspired by traditional Native Hawaiian kapa prints, recognizing Hawaii as the breeding, calving, and birthing grounds of thousands of humpback whales each year. The shirts have been printed on soft organic cotton, and are available in a variety of colors. All proceeds benefit the Sanctuary Ocean Count Project. To order, visit http://nmsfocean.org.