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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 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.


We are having a contest for the 2021 T-shirt design!

Visit the SUPPORT tab for more information on the contest. Contest submissions will be accepted now until September 30, 2020, at 11:59 PM HST.


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.

Please note that the 2021 Ocean Count events may be modified to ensure safe social distancing and to comply with all CDC and state guidelines. More information to come as the registration date gets closer.


Mahalo for your support with the Sanctuary Ocean Count project!