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E komo mai to the Sanctuary Ocean Count Project with Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary!

*** IMPORTANT UPDATE: We will be running a modified Ocean Count program for 2021!

Please note that the 2021 Ocean Count events will be modified to ensure safe social distancing and to comply with all CDC and state guidelines. Rather than engaging numerous volunteers, we are planning on only having one designated site leader or couple per site do the actual 2021 events. See registration tab for more info on how to still stay involved in 2021.


The Sanctuary Ocean Count is a signature education outreach and citizen science project that the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary hosts annually. Ocean Count serves to promote public awareness about humpback whales, the sanctuary, and shore-based whale watching opportunities in the Hawaiian Islands. The count is conducted three times per year during peak whale season and provides a snapshot of humpback whales sightings from the shoreline.

Participants tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals’ surface behavior during the survey which is from 8 am to 12 noon. Since it is an Ocean Count we also encourage noting down any other species you might see during the count. The Sanctuary Ocean Count project is highly dependent on and hugely successful due to our enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers! A similar effort is also done on Maui with the Pacific Whale Foundation.


The 2021 Ocean Counts are scheduled for the following Saturday’s: January 30, February 27, and March 27


Mahalo everyone who participated in our 2021 T-shirt design contest!

We plan to showcase all our entries on our website in the near future in addition to announcing the winner! Check out the support tab for more info.


Mahalo for your support with the Sanctuary Ocean Count project!