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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, April 12, 2010

Whale sanctuary hosts public meets

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

This humpback whale with her calf and escort was photo-graphed off Maui last year.

ED LYMAN | NOAA Fisheries

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Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary will host a series of informational public meetings, beginning today on O'ahu's North Shore, to launch the sanctuary's review of its management plan.

Sanctuary staff will explain how the sanctuary is overhauling its management plan, and public comment is allowed. At least one other meeting seeking public comment will be held in August, the agency said in a release.

"The public is encouraged to participate in these meetings that will help inform them about current sanctuary activities, the process of management plan review and how public input is integrated into design of the sanctuary management plan," said Naomi McIntosh, sanctuary superintendent.

The management plan review is a public process that helps the sanctuary staff assess current and emerging issues and concerns, and bring management practices up to date, the sanctuary release said.

Meeting times are 6 to 9 p.m. unless otherwise noted:

Today: Waialua, at Waialua Elementary School Cafeteria

Thursday: 6 to 7 p.m., Lāna'i, at Senior Center, Hulopoe Beach Park Council Meeting

April 27: Kīhei, at the sanctuary headquarters

April 29: Hawai'i Kai, in the NOAA conference room

May 3: Hilo, at the Mokupapapa Discovery Center

May 4: Kona, at the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort

May 8: Līhu'e, in Kamakahelei Elementary School's cafeteria, 9 a.m. to noon

May 14: Kaunakakai, at Mitchell Pauole Center

Those who wish to attend are encouraged to register by calling 888-55-WHALE, ext. 267 or e-mailing hihw managementplan@noaa.gov.

Additional meeting dates may be added if capacity at any venue is exceeded. More information is available at www.hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/mprmeetings.html.