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

The Sanctuary Ocean Count is a signature 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.


March 28, 2020 Ocean Count is CANCELED!

Mahalo for your support of Sanctuary Ocean Count. In these uncertain times confronting COVID-19, all of us at the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and Hawaiian Island Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary keep you and your families in our thoughts. We are grateful for your dedication to protecting our ocean and the amazing species, such as koholā, who call our sanctuaries home.

We recognize that this health crisis is likely affecting everything you do. Your well-being is our main concern. In order to ensure that everyone’s safety and health are a priority during this challenging time, we decided to cancel the March 28, 2020 Ocean Count. We know this is disappointing to our amazing volunteers.

We are disappointed too, as the work we all do together helps us understand more about humpback whales and how we can protect them. The data from our first two Ocean Counts will help with that effort and we thank everyone who participated. We will be back in full force next year and look forward to welcoming you.

Mahalo for your help with the Sanctuary Ocean Count project!

The 2021 Ocean Counts are scheduled for the following Saturday’s: January 30, February 27, and March 27 Registration for 2021 will commence December 15, 2020.