For Sunday, January 2, 2011
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 2, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 1:53 a.m. HST, Jan 2, 2011
Big Island visitors can count on a unique experience helping determine the number of whales congregating off island shores this season.
The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary count will be held on the last Saturday of January, February and March. The counts will be taken from 21 site around the Big Island.
For details on how to join the whale count, call 888-55-WHALE or visit hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/involved/ocwelcome.html.
The Pacific Whale Foundation's Volunteering on Vacation program welcomes visitors who would like to spend a few hours helping keep Maui's environment pristine.
Volunteers for the free programs will see sites that have cultural and historical significance and will learn about Hawaiian culture, plants and wildlife. Participants who devote three hours to a project will get a free tote bag.
A list of regular programs follows.
» First and third Sundays — Help pull invasive weeds at Haleakala National Park. 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Free transportation and park admission provided.
» Mondays — Hoaloha'aina service project. Help maintain a new South Maui ocean-side trail, pick up litter and remove invasive species. 7:30-9:30 a.m.
» Wednesdays — O'o Farm service project. Work on an organic farm in Upcountry Maui. 8:45-11:30 a.m.
» Fridays — Maui Coastal Land Trust service project. Help save unique ecosystems at Maui Coastal Land Trust in Waihee. Weed out invasive plants or help with other tasks. 7:45 a.m.-noon.
» Saturdays — Honokowai Valley Restoration Project. Help save archaeological sites of old Hawaii, pull invasive plants and plant native species. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
» Daily -- Beach cleanups. Help spruce up your favorite beach and monitor marine debris along Maui's shorelines.
To make reservations, call 249-8811, ext. 1, or visit www.pacificwhale.org.