Whalefest Monterey Symposium 2021

Event Date:
Jan 30 - Jan 31, 2021 at 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Old Fisherman's Wharf
1 Old Fisherman's Wharf
Monterey, CA 93940



Attention Students! Check out this essay contest and enter to win a cash prize!

On your essay submission, please include your name, grade, school and email address and phone and how you heard of the contest.

When you initially email your essay, please be sure you receive a confirmation or resend it again.

Please Click Here for more details. 


Students: Please select one of the 2020 Whalefest Monterey Presentations below:

Saturday, January 25, 2020

#1 William Oestreich, Shirel Rachel Kahane-Rapport, James Andrew Fahlbusch, and Will Taylor Gough--Students from Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford University. "The Formative Stages of Becoming a Whale Researcher"


#2 Paul Michel, MBNMS. "An update on the latest developments concerning the Sanctuary"


#3 Chad King, MBNMS. "Octopus Garden and a Whale Fall: Recent Discoveries in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary"


Welcome. Mary Alice Fettis, Whalefest Committee Chair  DO NOT WRITE ABOUT THIS PRESENTATION




#4 Julie Packard, Exec Dir. Monterey Bay Aquarium, with Erika Mahoney, KAZU. "If we're talking about saving the planet, we're talking about saving the ocean: A conversation with Julie Packard “


#5 Rear Admiral (ret.) Jon White, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, “Ocean Security: Breaching Challenges Through The Power Of Partnerships”


#6 Colleen Flanigan, Living Sea Sculpture/ UCSC. "Art and Science for Coral Reef Restoration"


Sunday, January 26, 2020

#7 Steve Mandel, Executive Director, Oceans 360. “Using Virtual Reality for Ocean Conservation Education”


#8 Wallace J. Nichols, PH.D., Author Blue Mind. “Whales are Medicine”


#9 Peggy Stap, Marine Life Studies. “Whale Disentanglement by the General Public:  Good Intentions, Bad Decisions and Updates of The Whale Entanglement Team (WET)®” 


#10 Brandon Southall, Ph.D., Southall Environmental Associates. “Listening to California’s Whales: Acoustic Science to Inform Conservation and Inspire the Next Generation”


More information: 


Whalefest Monterey Launches Ocean-Themed 2020 Student Summer Essay Contest


Monterey, CA. June 6, 2020.  Let’s encourage our youth to “amp up” their ocean literacy by viewing fascinating video presentations from the January, 2020 Whalefest Monterey’s 2-Day Symposium and enable them to possibly win a cash prize.


The organizers of Whalefest Monterey and Fisherman’s Wharf Association invite students entering grades 6-12 in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties, to participate in the Whalefest Monterey Ocean-Themed 2020 Student Summer Essay Contest.


According to Mary Alice Cerrito Fettis, Chair of Whalefest Monterey, “We are asking our youth to write a thoughtful essay about how a topic presented at the Whalefest Monterey 2020 Symposium directly impacts or could impact their life in the future. We are very excited about this essay contest that helps to educate, inspire and empower our next generations to explore and protect the biodiversity of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.


At a Glance


·Whalefest Monterey Ocean-Themed 2020 Student Summer Essay Contest opens June 8, 2020

·Submissions are due no later than 12:00 Noon on Monday, July 20, 2020

·Go to the Whalefest Monterey page on www.montereywharf.com for rules and Symposium topics

·Select a video presentation to view from the YouTube Whalefest Monterey videos listed for Whalefest Monterey 2020

·Essays will be judged on originality of thought and clarity of prose

·The completed essay should use 12-Point Times New Roman font and be submitted in pdf file format

·Three $100 prizes will be awarded for students entering grades 6 to 8 for a 300-500 word essay, one per grade

·Four $100 prizes will be awarded for students entering grades 9 to 12 for a 500-1000 word essay, one per grade

·Winners will be notified by September 14, 2020

·Submit entries to: [email protected]:

·More details on the Whalefest Monterey page on the website, www.montereywharf.com

·More information: [email protected] or 831-238-0777


About Whalefest Monterey


The 11th Annual Whalefest Monterey will be held at and around Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Custom House Plaza – Monterey State Historic Park in Monterey, California, The Whale Watching Capital of the World on Saturday, January 30th and Sunday, January 31st, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. This outstanding educational 2-day Whalefest Monterey and Symposium is hosted by Presenting Sponsor Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf Association.


Whalefest Monterey is a free, fun and educational interactive family event for all ages on Old Fisherman’s Wharf that celebrates the biodiversity of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and much more! The event, which features a 2-day Symposium with world-renowned marine experts and dozens of exhibit booths, benefits many local and national marine organizations that educate, inspire, and empower the public to protect the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). There will also be a variety of live musical entertainment at the head of the Wharf


Whale watchers come from around the world to view hundreds of whales, orcas, dolphins and pelicans that continue to feast on a “krill and anchovy buffet” in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Throughout the year, this Whale Watching Capital of the World offers sightings of 15 species of whales, 10 species of dolphins, 2 species of porpoise, 6 species of pinnipeds and 1 species of Fissiped (sea otter).


Corporate Sponsors and Donations


Donations can be made and corporate sponsorships are available now for the 11th Annual Whalefest Monterey.  Please contact Mary Alice Cerrito Fettis at [email protected] for more details. Marine Life Studies is the 501(c)3 non-profit fiscal sponsor of Whalefest Monterey.    


For more information about Whalefest Monterey, go to the Whalefest page on www.montereywharf.com or call (831) 238-0777. 



Whalefest Monterey 2019 Symposium Links

Here's the links to Saturday's Lectures for Whalefest 2019.  

Whalefest Monterey 2019 - Whale Conservation Efforts, California


Whalefest 2019 - Creating Sustainable Fishing Future


Whalefest 2019 - Whale Entanglement Team


Whalefest 2019 - Monterey, Abalone Capitol of the World


Here's the link to Sunday's Lectures for Whalefest 2019  

Whalefest 2019 - Ecotourism as a Tool for Marine Conservation


Whalefest 2019 - Great Pacific Garbage Patch


Whalefest 2019 - Shrinking Squid & Climate Change


Whalefest 2019 - Tracking Ecosystem Changes with Seabird Feathers


Whalefest Monterey 2018 Symposium YouTube Links

Elan Porter Hopkins Marine Station: What Can Undesirable Fish in Whale Food Tell Us?


Paul Michel National Marine Sanctuary 2018 Update


Greg Cailliet  Moss Landing Marine Lab Below Pacific Tides


Peggy Stap Marine Life Studies WET Saving Whales from Life Threatening Entanglements


Anne Warner Research Scientist Reducing Marine Plastic Pollution


Heirs to Our Oceans


Benyamin Rosental Stanford University


John Pearse Professor Emeritus, University of California, Santa Cruz, “The Strange and Wonderful Sex Life in the Rocky Intertidal”


John Ryan, MBARI & John Joseph, NPS. "The Ocean Soundscape is a Whalefest"


Alison Haupt CSUMB “Integrating Marine Research into the Classroom”


Steve Shimek The Otter Project “You Otter Like this Video” 

Whalefest  Monterey 2017 Your Sanctuary TV link to all of this year’s You Tube presentations


Whalefest  Monterey 2016 Your Sanctuary TV link to all of this year’s You Tube presentations




Thank you for your support of Whalefest Monterey. Please donate here

If you were unable to attend the concert, "Serenade of the Whales",

that Nick Fettis performed on Thursday, May 28, as a fundraiser for 

Whalefest Monterey and Marine Life Studies, you can go to this You Tube link



If you would like to donate on pay pal or by credit card 

you can go to



If you would like to write a check 

please mail it to Marine Life Studies

with Whalefest Monterey in the memo line..

Please mail to 


Marine Life Studies

P.O. 163

Moss Landing, CA  95039

Thank you so much and enjoy the concert.

Thank you to our valued sponsor, Arts Council for Monterey County!


Here are details of last year's 10th Annual Whalefest Monterey on January 25th and 26th, 2020:

10th Annual Whalefest Monterey Announces Updated Symposium Presenters