Volunteers still needed for humpback whale count

LIHUE, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - There is still room for volunteer counters for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count, which will take place starting at 8 a.m. March 30.

However, registration needs to take place immediately because the final workshop for training will take place Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. at the King Kaumuali'i Elementary School cafeteria.

The volunteer training for the Sanctuary Ocean Count is a mandatory requirement for volunteers interested in participating in the Sanctuary Ocean Count on the island of Kaua'i.

Volunteers are able to register online by visitingsanctuaryoceancount.org or by calling 246-2860 for more information.

During February, more than 650 volunteers collected data from the shores of O'ahu, Kaua'i and the Big Island during the Sanctuary Ocean Count held on Feb. 23.

The count is a yearly shore-based census, which provides snapshot data on humpback whales, although observations of other marine life are recorded.

During the count, participants tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals' surface behavior during the survey.

The sanctuary is administered through a partnership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the State of Hawai'i through its Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The sanctuary protects humpback whales and their habitat in Hawaiian waters where the whales migrate each winter to mate, calve and nurse their young.

Visit the website www.hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov for more details.

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