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Contact: Jessica Ferracane, 808-985-6018
Hawaiʻi National Park, HI - Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park encourages volunteers to help count humpback whales during the annual Sanctuary Ocean Count held the last Saturday of January, February and March (Jan. 28, Feb. 25, and Mar. 31) from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes' Kaʻena Point, at the end of Chain of Craters Road, is one of 22 Sanctuary Ocean Count sites island-wide where volunteers onshore monitor humpbacks in nearshore waters for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Residents and visitors enjoy this yearly event which provides important population and distribution information about humpback whales around the Hawaiian Islands.
"This is an ideal opportunity for the community and for Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park to work together as stewards of our ocean," said Park Ranger Adrian Boone, site leader for the Sanctuary Ocean Count. "These magnificent creatures swim more than 2,000 miles to Hawaiʻi from Arctic waters every winter, and the annual count is one way we can help observe and record their behavior, and ensure their future," he said.
Volunteers can sign up on the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary website: http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/involved/ocvolunteer.html or call 1-888-55-WHALE ext. 253.