Whalefest Monterey Announces Schedule for March 19 and 20, 2022


For Immediate Release

Publicity Contact: Wendy Brickman

(831) 594-1500 or [email protected]


Whalefest Monterey announces schedule of activities, including lineup for 2-day Symposium with world-renowned marine experts and historians, exhibits, live music and more on March 19 & 20, 2022

Symposium to be held at Heritage Harbor adjacent to the Recreation Trail, just steps away from Old Fisherman’s Wharf

March 14, 2022. Monterey, CA. Bring the whole family to the 12th Annual Whalefest Monterey!

At a Glance:

What: 12th Annual Whalefest Monterey

Where: At and around Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Custom House Plaza – Monterey State Historic Park  

The event will feature a 2-day Symposium with world-renowned marine experts and historians at Heritage Harbor adjacent to the Recreation Trail and just steps away from the Wharf. The Symposium is held at an indoor venue generously made available by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It will follow their COVID protocol which requires proof of vaccination or negative test within 24 hours to enter as well as wearing masks, subject to change. This applies to this indoor location only.

When: Saturday, March 19th and Sunday, March 20th from 11 am – 5 pm

What:  Featuring a 2-day Symposium during Whalefest Monterey with cutting-edge presentations by marine experts and others about important issues surrounding the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and beyond. In addition to the Symposium, Whalefest will feature dozens of interactive exhibits, live music and other activities for all ages.

This "edutaining" family friendly event includes fun activities for all ages, musicians, boat displays and dozens of fascinating marine-related interactive exhibits by numerous local organizations.

Whalefest Monterey benefits many local and national marine organizations that educate, inspire, and empower the public to protect the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). Of special note is that in 2022, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries will be celebrating its 50th anniversary of ocean protection and the 30th anniversary of the local Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

For the current schedule, see below.  For current COVID protocol information for the Symposium location only, go to https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/visit/proof-covid19-vaccination-required.

Information: For a complete schedule and detailed descriptions, please go to the 12th Annual Whalefest Monterey page on www.whalefest.org or www.montereywharf.com.  

Phone: 831-238-0777 or email [email protected] 


Whalefest Monterey 2022


Schedule of Events


11:00 – 5:00 Exhibits

Custom House Plaza, Causeway and Fisherman’s Wharf


11:00-5:00 Symposium

Heritage Harbor Conference Room


11:00-5:00 Research and Rescue Vessels

California Dock at Fisherman’s Wharf


11:00-5:00 Musicians

At head of Wharf


12:00-4:00 Gyotaku

In front of Abalonetti


12:00-4:00 Scrimshaw

In front of Abalonetti


11:00 & 12:30 Wharf History Walks with Historian Tim Thomas

Meet at Harbor House


10:00 Marine Mammal Center Release (Sunday only)

Monterey Beach


11:00-1:00 Beach & Street Clean Up (Sunday only)

Meet at Marine Life Studies Booth 


Whalefest Monterey will feature many educational and engaging displays from local, regional and national non-profits that include: 

American Cetacean Society

Big Sur Charter School

California Coastal Commission

California Killer Whale Project

California State Parks

Camp SEA Lab

Community Builders for Monterey County

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

Marine Life Studies

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary MBNMS

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History

Protect Monterey Bay

Santa Catalina Middle School

Save the Whales/MontereySEA

Sea Otter Savvy

Seafloor Science ROV

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Surfrider Foundation

Sustainability Office, City of Monterey

The Marine Mammal Center

Ventana Wildlife Society

Yacht Club - Monterey Peninsula

(Note: Subject to change.)

Music Schedule:

Saturday, March 19



Monterey High School Jazz Ensemble



Seaside High School Jazz Ensemble



Nicholas Fettis & his “ORCA” stra



Monterey Improvisational Group



Stu Heydon



Nicholas Fettis &

Michael Martinez


Sunday, March 20



Nicholas Fettis & his “ORCA” stra



The Bard & The Bird

Chris & Holly Baldwin



Richard Carr & The Whales



Jonah & The Whale Watchers


Whalefest Symposium 2022


Saturday, March 19



Dan Haifley, Sam Farr

"The Citizen Movement That Created Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary."


12:00 – 12:45

Lisa Wooninck, PhD, Superintendent, MBNMS

“50 Years of Whale Conservation by National Marine Sanctuaries.”


1:00 – 2:00



2:15 – 3:00

Peggy West, Executive Director, Marine Life Studies and the Whale Entanglement Team(WET)®

 “Saving Whales – The Anatomy of a Disentanglement Response”


3:15 – 4:00

Matt Savoca, Ph.D., Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford University

“Baleen whale prey consumption and its effects on marine ecosystems.”


4:15 – 5:00

Daniel Fernandez, PhD, CSUMB

 “Coastal fog and its Importance to Regional Ecosystems”


Sunday, March 20

11:00 – 11:45

Kelly Sorenson, Executive Director, Ventana Wildlife Society

California Condor Conservation:  A Success Story in the Making” 


12:00 - 12:45

Corey Garza, PhD, CSUMB

“A Game of Drones: Advancing Discovery and Innovation in Coastal Research.”


1:00 – 2:00



2:15 – 4:00

Tim Thomas, Historian; Larry Oda, JACL; Tony Goulart, Portuguese Heritage Publications;  Bob Enea, Sicilian Fishing Historian

“The Bounty of the Bay”


4:15 – 5:00

William Gilly, PhD, Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford University, Western Flyer Foundation

“Return of the Western Flyer”

About the 2-Day Symposium:

In 2022, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries will be celebrating its 50th anniversary of ocean protection and the 30th anniversary of the local Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.  To celebrate this anniversary, on Saturday, March 19th at 11:00 am, Whalefest Monterey keynote speakers, former Congressmember Sam Farr and former Save Our Shores director Dan Haifley, will discuss how a decades-long citizen movement culminated in the creation of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, protecting one quarter of California's coastline from offshore oil and other threats. These presentations will be followed by Dr. Lisa Wooninck, Superintendent of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, who will provide an overview, “50 Years of Whale Conservation by National Marine Sanctuaries”.

Peggy Stap, Executive Director, Marine Life Studies will then talk about the Whale Entanglement Team (WET) ®, the anatomy of a whale rescue response, updates on recent entanglements, and Marine Life Studies’ lost and abandoned fishing gear removal project.  Peggy’s presentation will be followed by Dr. Matt Savoca from Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford University who will talk about Baleen whale prey consumption and its effects on marine ecosystems. Next, Dr. Dan Fernandez from CSUMB will describe coastal fog, its importance to regional ecosystems, and its role in (and how it may be affected by) processes associated with climate change. 

Sunday, March 20th at Whalefest Monterey’s Symposium opens at 11:00 am with a presentation about California Condors which have faced many challenges in the wild, but are on track toward full recovery, by Kelly Sorensen, Executive Director, Ventana Wildlife Society. This presentation will be followed by Dr. Corey Garza from CSUMB who will discuss the development of an autonomous aerial drone program created as part of NOAA’s Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems (CCME) to support next generation monitoring approaches for assessing status and trends in coastal ecosystems. 

Sunday afternoon is devoted to fishing history and the Western Flyer vessel, past, present and future. A panel of experts will examine how diverse ethnic fishing cultures have benefited historically from the bounty of the Monterey Bay--from the Native people to Portuguese whalers, Japanese divers and Chinese fishermen to the Sicilian fishing families. Speakers include historian Tim Thomas, Larry Oda, Board Member of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and former JACL National President,  Tony Goulart, President,  Portuguese Heritage Publications of California, and Bob Enea, whose family owned the Western Flyer which John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts chartered in 1940 for their famous voyage to the Sea of Cortez.  Following that, Dr. William Gilly from Hopkins Marine Station and the Western Flyer Foundation will talk about the Western Flyer’s recent restoration and return to Monterey in 2022, where it will soon provide an at-sea educational experience in STEM and humanities subjects.

In addition to the presentations, ocean and marine–related documentaries are scheduled to be shown during the midday break. 

There will also be strolling costumed marine animals for fun photo ops including a squid, dolphin and crab. 

Whale watchers come from around the world to view hundreds of whales, orcas, dolphins and pelicans who come 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).

Whalefest Monterey is supported by many outstanding sponsors including the Arts Council for Monterey County, thanks to support from the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, Fisherman’s Wharf Association, Marine Life Studies, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Mechanics Bank, Bay Federal Credit Union, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, Monterey County Bank, T-Mobile and Andronico’s. Media sponsors include KSBW TV Action News 8, Central Coast ABC, Estrella TV Costa Central, KAZU 90.3 FM, Foolish Times and the Shagbag Radio Show.   
About NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Serving as the trustee for 14 national marine sanctuaries and two marine national monuments, NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary System encompasses more than 600,000 square miles of protected marine and Great Lakes waters. Few places on the planet can compete with the diversity of the system, which protects America's most iconic natural and cultural marine resources. The system works with diverse partners and stakeholders to promote responsible, sustainable ocean uses that ensure the health of our most valued ocean places. A healthy ocean is the basis for thriving recreation, tourism and commercial activities that drive coastal economies. Backed by one of the nation's strongest pieces of ocean conservation legislation, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, sanctuaries seek to preserve the extraordinary scenic beauty, biodiversity, historical connections. and economic productivity of our most precious underwater parks.

For more information to 
www.montereywharf.com or www.whalefest.org or call 831-238-0777 or email [email protected]