Speaker Series 2017

September 17, 2017
12noon – 5:30pm
Main Beach, Santa Cruz, California

Event Highlights:

The Speaker Series is a free admission educational event focused on the ocean and the importance of its role in our lives.

Speakers with backgrounds in marine science and conservation will give presentations on ocean ecology, habitat preservation, coastal pollution and other related topics. International Coastal Cleanup Day (September 16) and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s 25th Anniversary (September 18th) is taking place this weekend so we have a lot to discuss and celebrate!

Join us and discover how you can make an impact on our oceans, too!


LED walls featuring underwater video & music.


Katherine O’Dea

Executive Director at Save Our Shores, Katherine O’Dea is a seasoned sustainability expert, non-profit leader and conservationist. Founded in 1978 in Santa Cruz, California, S.O.S. was instrumental in keeping offshore oil away from the Central Coast.  They were also involved in establishing boundaries for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. S.O.S. is a direct action network actively involved in coastal cleanup.


The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is celebrating its 25th year!  Designated in 1992, the Sanctuary (MBNMS) is a federally protected marine area offshore of California’s central coast.  A representative will speak about the history and importance of protecting our oceans.

Special Guests


Sam Blakesley

Chairperson at Surfrider Foundation, Santa Cruz, Sam Blakesley is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz. His focus is on sustainability, conservation and coordinating a Blue Water Task Force. Sam will discuss local ocean bacteria levels and the progress being made to meet clean water standards.

Anika Ballent

Anika Ballent is Education Director at Algalita located in Long Beach, California.  Since 1999, Algalita has been the leading research organization focused on plastic pollution and its impact on marine life and ecosystems.  The Great Pacific Garbage Patch was discovered by Founder and Research Director, Captain Charles Moore.

Dan Haifley

Dan Haifley, Executive Director at O’Neill Sea Odyssey since 1999, is a leading advocate for hands-on environmental education. Dan has received recognition for his efforts to establish the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, his promotion of local ordinances regarding offshore oil and his dedication to protecting California’s coastline.

Nancy Black

Captain Nancy Black is a Marine Biologist & owner of Monterey Bay Whale Watch. She has a Master’s of Marine Science degree from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. Nancy has worked with cetaceans in Monterey Bay for over 25 years as the primary investigator for the Oceanic Society’s whale and dolphin research program.