Humpbacks featured at airport, greet new arrivals at baggage claim

LIHUE — Jean Souza watched as a deplaning passenger studied the display of whales found in Hawaii waters.

“She was really interested and kept looking at the display,” said Souza, Kauai coordinator for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. “Later, when I chatted with her at the baggage claim, I found out she was a tour guide and was studying the display to get information she could use when they see whales on her tour.”

Two displays were created at the Lihue Airport to raise awareness about whales, primarily humpback whales, and other marine life to coincide with peak whale season which runs from January through March.

“These displays are one of the best places to reach both arriving and departing passengers,” Souza said. “We had an opportunity for simultaneous displays, and with the help of Carol Yotsuda of the Garden Island Arts Council, took advantage of this to have displays with complementary themes.”

Yotsuda said the display on the Hawaiian Airlines side of the terminal offers information on whales and other marine-related life, including seabirds and honu.

“Since a lot of visitors do whale watching as an activity when they get here during whale season, we worked that theme on the display on the United Airlines side of the terminal,” Yotsuda said. “It shows the activity and types of whales seen, some of the supportive efforts to help whales like the ocean count, and the perils whales face in Hawaiian waters.”

The window displays will be on exhibit through the end of March.

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