***3/15/2022 Update: Great news! A small amount of volunteers will be allowed at several designated Ocean Count sites!
Volunteer registration is very limited (5-10 max) and the registration link will be live 3/16/2022 at 12 pm HST
See registration page for more information!
The 2022 Ocean Counts are scheduled for the following Saturday’s: January 29, February 26, and March 26.
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.