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February 2012 Declared as Humpback Whale Awareness Month in Hawaii

In recognition of the 50th State‟s official marine mammal, Governor Neil Abercrombie and Lt. Governor Brian Schatz have officially proclaimed February 2012 as Humpback Whale Awareness Month in Hawai„i.

“The humpback whale represents the diversity of ocean life that surrounds the Hawaiian Islands and reflects the deep connection the people of Hawai„i share with the ocean,” said Governor Abercrombie.

February is the best month of the year to catch a glimpse of Hawai„i‟s humpbacks. Humpback whales represent the diversity of ocean life that surrounds the Hawaiian Islands. Each year humpback whales return to Hawaiian waters to mate, calve and nurse their young.

In 1992, an act of Congress designated the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary to protect humpback whales and their habitat. The sanctuary is jointly managed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The sanctuary is offering a variety of whale watches, whale counts and other activities statewide throughout February to celebrate Humpback Whale Awareness Month. Visit the sanctuary‟s website at http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov for a complete listing, or on O„ahu call 1-888-55-WHALE ext. 253 to learn more about how to get involved in the protection of the humpback whale and Hawai„i‟s marine environment.

For O„ahu information, call (808) 397-2651 ext. 253

For Maui information, call (808) 879-2818

For Kaua„i information, call (808) 246-2860