News Splash™

BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Event


Sept. 24th-30th, 2012


Every two years ocean leaders, filmmakers, photographers, scientists, explorers, entertainment executives and the general public gather in Monterey at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival to honor the best in ocean filmmaking, to learn more about the issues facing our oceans, and to collaborate on improving the future of our oceans and humanity. The seven-day event is charged with energy as these diverse groups of people share knowledge and ideas with each other and with the general public.


BLUE’S who’s who list of speakers include the Cousteau’s, Jean-Michel, Céline, and Fabien, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Brian Skerry, Doug Allen, Stephen Frink, Feodor Pitcairn, and Don Walsh. Local favorites from Monterey include Bob Talbot, Kip Evans, Jason Bradley, Bruce Robison and Peggy Stap.


Peggy Stap, Research Director for Marine Life Studies in Monterey, California, has been teaching and inspiring the public to protect whales, dolphins, other marine life and our oceans that they depend on since 1998. Marine Life Studies education programs at BLUE include how you free a 40-ton whale from marine debris with the Whale Entanglement Team (W.E.T.) Mock Disentanglement class; Take it to the Streets™ to stop the trash before it reaches the beaches; and Who’s Who in Monterey Bay to learn how scientists use unique markings on flukes and dorsal fins to identify individual animals. Peggy will also be your personal guide on a whale watch. 



Who's Coming to BLUE?

View the Full Schedule. Among the many speakers will be: 


Peggy Stap, Marine Life Studies Executive Director and Founder, is a researcher, educator and speaker. She has been researching and teaching the public about protecting whales, dolphins and our oceans since 1998.


Peggy has worked with radio and television producers, news reporters and authors, including: PBS Nature “The Fellowship of Whales”; Tokyo Broadcasting System documentary “Ocean Odyssey”; National Geographic, “What Are They Doing Down There?” by Douglas H. Chadwick. She believes that research, education and experience is the key to learning the value of becoming stewards of the oceans, marine wildlife and the environment entrusted to us all.

View her schedule at BLUE.


Jenna Contuchio is Education Coordinator and Research Assistant for Marine Life Studies. Jenna has been actively involved in research, education, and outreach since 2005 on Monterey Bay, in St. Kitts and Bermuda. Research focus included whales, dolphins, sea turtles and other marine life. Her background includes in water captures of sea turtles for DNA sequencing study, data collection and tissue sampling.

View her schedule at BLUE.





Date: Saturday, September 29, 2012 
Time: 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM 
Venue: Off Site 
Speakers: Jenna Contuchio (Education Coordinator) and Peggy Stap (Executive Director)
Download the Event Flyer

Description: Plastic Police, an initiative of Marine Life Studies, will take participants to the streets of downtown Monterey, CA to pick up trash. We aim to collect marine pollution before it can reach the ocean through our storm drains and local watersheds. Take It To The Streets™ will provide all supplies necessary for a successful cleanup. Just bring your enthusiasm and love of our oceans.



Date: Saturday, September 29, 2012
Time: 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Venue: Portola Hotel - Bonsai Room I
Speakers: Jenna Contuchio (Education Coordinator) and Peggy Stap (Executive Director)
Download the Event Flyer  

Description: Learn to identify humpback whales and killer whales. Scientists use unique markings on flukes and dorsal fins to identify individual animals, the same way they use human fingerprints to identify people. This research technique is vital to marine wildlife research and helps scientists monitor their population and movements. Try your hand as a marine researcher! Identify whales with fun hands-on activities.



Date: Saturday, September 29, 2012
Time: 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Venue: Portola Hotel - De Anza II & III
Speakers: Jenna Contuchio (Education Coordinator) and Peggy Stap (Executive Director)
Download the Event Flyer 

Description: How do you free a 40-ton whale from marine debris? Apply the tools & techniques of a Specialist Whale Disentangler. Learn how trained professionals of W.E.T. (Whale Entanglement Team) free a whale from fishing ropes, nets and other ocean trash. See a video of specialist in action. Handle the tools designed specifically for disentangling whales. Hands-on classroom practice using the tools and techniques on an imitation entangled whale model. Learn about the specially trained members of W.E.T. who do this important work along the central and northern California Coast. Hands-on training for ages 10 and up.




Date: Sunday, September 30, 2012
Venue: Princess Monterey Whale Watch located at Fisherman's Warf
Personal guides: Peggy Stap (Executive Director) and Jenna Contuchio (Education Coordinator) 
Download the Event Flyer  


Guided Whale Watch Schedule:
9:00 AM (8:30 check-in) - Order Tickets Online
12:30 PM (12:00 check-in) - Order Tickets Online
Discount: $5 discount per person with Coupon Code: BLUE


Description: Join us on an exciting adventure into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary exploring the whales, dolphins, and other marine wildlife that call these waters their home. Peggy Stap and Jenna Contuchio will be your personal guides aboard a beautiful 100 foot whale watch boat on this exploration of the marine animals of Monterey Bay. Learn about various feeding behaviors, social structures, and habitat threats on dierent species of marine animals in addition to fun facts about whales, dolphins and the sanctuary.