Volunteers invited to count whales Saturday in HVNP


Hawaii Volcanoes National Park encourages volunteers to register to help count humpback whales during the final 2014 Sanctuary Ocean Count from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday.

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary will conduct the third and final event of the annual project.

The shore-based humpback whale survey is conducted at more than 60 sites around Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island on the last Saturday of January, February and March.

Ka‘ena Point, located near the end of Chain of Craters Road, is one of 21 Sanctuary Ocean Count sites.

It is the first pullout along the ocean, close to the end of the road, about a 45-minute drive from the park entrance. Bring a cushion or chair to sit on, snacks, sun and rain protection.

Binoculars are optional.

Check in with the leader, Park Ranger Adrian Boone.

Volunteers on shore monitor humpbacks in nearshore waters for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

Residents and visitors look forward to this yearly event that provides important population and distribution information about humpback whales around the Hawaiian Islands.

The Sanctuary Ocean Count is an ideal opportunity for the community and the park to work together as stewards of the ocean.

These splendid creatures swim more than 2,000 miles to Hawaii from Arctic waters every winter, and the annual count is one way to observe and record their behavior and ensure their future.

To register online, visit www.sanctuaryoceancount.org, or simply show up for all or part of the count.

For additional questions, call the Ocean Count Hotline at 808-268-3087.

For other site locations on the Big Island and information about volunteering, visit http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/involved/ocwelcome.html.

The Sanctuary Ocean Count has helped generate widespread enthusiasm for humpback whales and Hawaii’s marine environment through the years, with more than 2,000 volunteer participants in 2013.

It is one of several projects coordinated by the sanctuary that encourages government and citizens to work together in protecting humpback whales.

For more information, visit www.hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov.

 

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