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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Marine Life Studies

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Biological & Life Sciences, Environment, Environmental Education, Marine Science & Oceanography, Technology

Mission: Marine Life Studies is a nonprofit organization committed to protecting our ocean, whales, dolphins, and other marine wildlife. Our mission is to acquire and share knowledge and inspire the next generation of whale, dolphin and ocean conservationists. We acquire knowledge through on-going research, share and utilize that knowledge to encourage conservation, and inspire the public, especially children, with our education programs.

Target demographics: inspiring the public to protect our ocean, whales and dolphins through research, education and conservation.

Geographic areas served: the Monterey Bay area including Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties

Programs: Take It To The Streets trash cleanups, Research Scientist training program, Whale Entanglement Team (WET)® providing whale disentanglement education and training

Community Stories

96 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have nothing but positive things to say about my time volunteering with Marine Life Studies! Through my time volunteering, I helped create a short educational video on the life of plastics to pair with Marine Life Studies' Take it to the Streets program. I had amazing guidance and support every step of the way making this project very enjoyable and rewarding. The vision and passion of Marine Life Studies was apparent in ever interaction and I look forward to more volunteer opportunities with them in the future!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MLS is my favorite organization to volunteer with! They are organized and thoughtful. Peggy truly cares about the world and giving everyone a great experience when volunteering. She is a wealth of knowledge and loves sharing with others. You will see various whales, fish, birds, etc. It's always a fun time and the other volunteers are also very cool and nice!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering with MLS! Such a wonderful experience, every time. There is always something to do and always someway that anyone can help and contribute. You'll learn a lot and have a positive impact. On top of all that, Peggy, the rest of her team, and all of the other volunteers I've met are really interesting and wonderful people. Highly recommend.

Michael P.9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization bridges the gap between biologist and enthusiasts in a way that easily introduces marine conservation to those unfamiliar. Monterey Bay is an ecological treasure that has impacts reaching all over the globe and it's vital that we have a trained disentanglement and research crew monitoring the waters and that's exactly what Marine Life Studies does.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Marine Life Studies is an amazing nonprofit that helps the ocean and its critters. I have had the opportunity to attend some of their public events while visiting my girlfriend as she educated the public about the work she does. It's amazing how many volunteers they have to help out at their events and going out on the boat to do research. Although I am not a boat go-er, I live through the stories that Stephanie shares with me. Her eyes light up when she talks about how she saw killer whales, saw something she's never seen before, or if she shot a phenomenal video or photo of the animals. I'm glad that she is in her element and that she enjoys the work that she does.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My granddaughter works for Marine Life Studies and it is a pleasure to know that she has a job in a field that she went to school for. She adventures onto the ocean to conduct research. Sometimes when she comes home, I ask her..."Well, is the ocean still wet?" She laughs, says yes and then shares stories about what happened during the day or what animals she saw.

Marine Life Studies does great work and I can tell that Peggy and Stephanie put a lot of long hours of work for the organization.

Ariyanti S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Marine Life Studies is an amazing nonprofit organization that is full of passionate volunteers and team members that are dedicated to their mission. They go out on the water as often as they can to help any tangled whales, and in addition, they always do their part in trying to help collect any trash debris that may be floating in the water. Their research never stops and they are always excited to record sightings of rare species of wildlife within the Monterey Bay. They are a huge asset to the Monterey Bay in providing research and marine conservation services of our amazing marine life. I volunteered for a few months when I had more time on my hands, and it was a fantastic experience. I learned so much more about the marine life in the Monterey Bay and felt privileged to be amongst marine life conservationist and researchers who were engrossed in their work and genuinely so happy to get up every day and do something that they love.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Marine Life Studies is a great organization with passionate leaders and volunteers geared to ensuring marine mammals like whales, dolphins, turtles and others are safe from human influences throughout Monterey Bay. These efforts include routine Marine Life surveys, removal of debris such as lost crab pots/line, trash such as plastics, and even whale disentanglements that take coordination with multiple state and federal agencies.

I've had the opportunity to participate in both open ocean surveys on the bay and help repair the main boat and small rigid boat used for whale entanglement efforts on shore. I greatly appreciate the vast number of hours that Peggy and Stephanie put in behind the scenes to make this project a success.

I've been interested in Marine Biology since a teenager and that continue to this day as a senior citizen. It is simply fun to interact with a group of dedicated folks with a common goal to help marine life on our door step.

Regards
Jeff

Rachel N.6

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I worked with MLS this past semester for Service Learning and I really enjoyed learning more about the data collected within the Bay. I inputted data from research boat surveys onto Google Spreadsheets and I also created some public outreach materials for kids. Overall it was a productive and fun experience for remote learning.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with Marine Life Studies for a couple of years now. Peggy and Stephanie are so dedicated to the mission of protecting our oceans, whales and dolphins. Peggy's passion for the marine life is so contagious. The organization is inclusive, caring and fun. Even though I turn green at times when the waves are rough, Peggy made sure that I was taken care of and I cannot wait to go out again. The crew is professional, courteous and personable. They make a day out to sea enjoyable and, at the same time, educational. I learn so much from them every time we go out. Their dedication, compassion and hard work is why I am giving Marine Life Studies a five star review.

Mollcop

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked with MLS for my service learning. Unfortunately it was virtual this semester, so we were unable work in person. I was able to help input data from boat surveys into an excel sheet. I also created coloring sheets and a video for kids. Peggy and Stephanie were super nice and helpful. I hope to be able to assist them in the future, either in person or virtually.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I volunteered for MLS this semester. Since everything was virtual, my job was to attend online webinars and take notes so the information could be used to update material for MLS. I learned soooo much! I appreciate that they still had volunteer opportunities even during the lockdown.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for MLS for a little over a week and I absolutely love it. The work is very fun and engaging and even more importantly the cause is amazing and the people care so much its wonderful to see.

Greg O.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an executive in the information technology field, it is rare that I am afforded the opportunity to do something in the world that matters globally, without strings attached, and in an environment free of the political issues that so often follow.
Peggy Stap's sheer unapologetic joy in her everyday work researching, documenting, and actually *saving* whales is a gift to everyone who has the opportunity to work for her organization.
My investment in becoming a certified FAA UAS pilot has been capitalized on with both MLS and the Whale Entanglement Team, however, it's not just about the fun stuff. Grinding the hull of the research vessel, working on a clogged head, or bobbing around in the trough while pulling a side-scan sonar system have all been a highlight on their own.

This is an amazing organization, doing amazing work, and I'm thrilled to be associated with them.

Elke W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I partnered with Marine Life Studies for a service learning course at CSUMB. I instantly felt welcomed into the team and felt as though my contributions were valued. Additionally, volunteering out on the boat was incredible as I saw sea life that I have never seen before. I also had the opportunity to network with other volunteers out on the boat with us. I was given great training and always felt comfortable asking questions if something was unclear. My time with MLS was short, but despite this, I felt like part of the family.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I knew that getting the opportunity to volunteer with Marine Life Studies was amazing but this experience far surpassed my expectations. On my first trip out on the boat I was taken by surprise at just how much marine life I got to see and I was thrilled at how involved in tasks I was able to be on the boat. I received such a warm welcome from Peggy and Stephanie, they definitely made me feel a part of the team and from my first encounter with both the whales and Peggy and Stephanie, I was so eager to help out again as soon as possible! It is clear to see the volunteers are so passionate and dedicate a huge amount of their time to saving whales from entanglements. Seeing Marine Life Studies at work and the impact that they make is inspiring and has made me feel hopeful for the whales.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am having a lot of fun working with Marine Life Studies. The first time I was able to volunteer with this organization was at Whalefest 2020. Here I helped do a food demonstration that showed people the effect trash in the oceans has on baleen and toothed whales and towards the end, I got to dress in fun costumes with my friends. I've learned a lot about the ocean and about marine animals since working with Peggy and Stephanie and I look forward to learning more.

mschwirzke

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently volunteered at Marine Life Studies along with a number of other employees from my company, and I can't say enough about the great work that this non-profit organization is doing!

After the orientation and introduction to the Marine Life Studies program, and completing the safety tour, we headed out into Monterey Bay to photograph, video record, and document the various forms of marine wildlife (also removed trash from the water whenever we encountered it).

Traveling from Moss Landing down to Carmel beach, and then back, we encountered Gray whales, Risso's dolphins, and a juvenile Humpback whale to mention a few. We collected data all along the way, and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine as we traveled around the bay.

Peggy and Victoria were wonderful hosts, sharing information about the different species of marine wildlife, and how Marine Life Studies fit into the big picture.

Once we returned to the dock, and helped clean up the boat and prepared items for storage, we chatted about how educational & interesting the volunteer event had been, and how we can continue to be involved with the organization.

All in all a terrific day ... I highly recommend volunteering for / donating to Marine Life Studies!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I heard a talk by Peggy during Whalefest 2019, chatted with some of her volunteers, including a tour of their boat and decided this organization was one I wanted to join.

Since then, I've participated in numerous whale and dolphin surveys on Monterey Bay and have been pleasantly surprised by the number and diversity of whales, dolphins, sea lions, otters, mola mola and other marine organisms the populate Monterey Bay. Simply stunning as you better understand the food web and the unique geography that creates an upwelling food buffet.

The recent whale entanglement success is an incredible testament to Marine Life Studies goal of working with partners to help save these sea behemoths.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have the best time volunteering with Marine Life Studies. During Whalefest 2020, I had the opportunity of teaching kids the difference between baleen and toothed whales. Along with that, we showed that there is trash in our oceans with the small feeding demonstration. Lastly, we put on costumes to draw more attention to our various booths. Peggy Stap and Stephanie Marcos are great individuals. I take soooo much pride in saying that I volunteer with MLS with their goals of Research, Education and Outreach. I hope to continue working with them in the future.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first introduction to Peggy and her crew at Marine Life Studies was at the 2016 W.E.T (Whale Entanglement Team) training at Moss Landing. We (Mother Natures Temple.org) had volunteered our boat, Playtime, a 53 foot power cat, to help out anyway we could with the W.E.T. program. Peggy immediately saw the potential of collaboration between our and her non-profit organizations. Peggy invited me to join her survey team aboard her boat, the nimble Sea Currency, and her right hand person Stephanie set about the arduous task of teaching me the ropes, literally.

Peggy, Stephanie, and all the many volunteers that I have had the pleasure of working with over the past years on surveys and entanglement training and responses, are the most dedicated, and knowledgeable, group of nature lovers I know of. Every trip out with them has been a joyful, educational, and fulfilling experience.

The work that MLS does in the Monterey Bay region is invaluable for the health and preservation of the wildlife that lives or passes through here. Having dedicated people like Peggy to monitor and administer to the animals of our planet is vital to the future of a healthy environment. She and her crew provide valuable information that adds to the collective effort of a network of people throughout the world that are dedicated to saving this planet. Thank You Mark

1 Jennifer A.12

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I volunteered with many organizations on the Monterey Bay This is the one I continue to spend time with! Peggy stop runs the organization, as she does her life, with the mantra "love and gratitude" ; It shows through when those that she has with her agency! Also very crucial part of her what her organization does is the whale entanglement team trying to save entangled whales very important need!

1 kelsey_allison

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The first time I heard about Marine Life Studies was in my Service Learning class at CSU Monterey Bay. I knew right away that I wanted to volunteer with them and I am so glad that I did! Working with Peggy and Stephanie is so fun and they have so much knowledge to share about the marine life in Monterey. I have had the chance to learn about wildlife photography, photo I.D., collecting behavioral data, and boating. I even had the chance to experience my first wild Killer whales with them! I can honestly say everyone at MLS is passionate about the ocean and truly cares about the well-being of marine life. I look forward to many more days out on the bay with them!

1 Connie S.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In 2013-2015, I had the privilege of volunteering for Marine Life Studies and their Whale Entanglement Team (WET). In my opinion, this is one, of only a few organizations, that really are doing something to protect the whales and marine wildlife. The organization, is an NGO, and the money they collect from donations goes right back into research and saving whales from deadly entanglements. It was truly an honor to be a part of this organization. Bravo to Peggy Stap and her team!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since I started volunteering with MLS, I have continued to love it more and more. Peggy is someone who has contagious enthusiasm and seems to love bringing people into the fold, finding their skillset, and allowing those skills to be developed. Marine Life Studies provides a unique opportunity for people without a marine biology degree to directly contribute the the study and protection of marine mammals. A day out on the water with MLS looking for whales is a day well spent, and might just make you consider a career change.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Another volunteer characterized working with MLS as the most selfish volunteering she's ever done. I have to agree wholeheartedly! Having the opportunity to work with Peggy and Stephanie is truly a privilege as they share their experience and knowledge effortlessly so that volunteering means constant learning and inclusion in the MLS mission.
I have rarely done volunteer work that has changed my perspective and increased my appreciation for our impact on the environment more that working with MLS has. I can't wait to get back out and volunteer again (and again, and again) with MLS in 2019 and beyond.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Marine Life Studies through a colleague at work, and found them to be one of the most impressive and humble non-profit organisations that I've ever had the chance to interact with. Their work is both important and meaningful, and they are driven by safety and excellence.

I highly recommend them!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have spent my work career helping people as a mediator, social worker and upon retiring I wanted to find something else that touches my spirit. I have had the good fortune to volunteer with Marine Life Studies. Peggy and Stephanie...their passion for the planet's wellness is inspirational. Volunteering with them gives me hope for my grandchildren's future.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've always loved Monterey Bay and its denizens and started being a regular on whale-watching trips. Finally, the captain of the whale-watching boat said to me, "You need to call Peggy Stap and volunteer with Marine Life Studies."

So I did!

I started volunteering a few months ago and I've loved every minute I've been on the water with Peggy, Stephanie, Whale-Spotter Whiskey the dog, and all of the volunteers I've met. I've learned how to record data of our sightings and even learned some boating skills. Probably the best thing, though, is sitting by Peggy and soaking up her knowledge of the humpback whales, Orca, and other mammals we study in the Bay.

Peggy and Stephanie are both great teachers and they make volunteering with MLS both educational and super fun. I can't wait to go out again!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Marine Life Studies was beyond my expectations - it was filled with enthusiast volunteers, a friendly and education atmosphere, and best of all...the opportunity to save WHALES. I felt very safe while aboard and left with the desire to return for another volunteer shift. I highly recommend the MLS non-profit as a great way to give your time. You walk inspired and give our sea creatures a fighting chance, a real win-win!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Marine Life Studies is an amazing organization. Running on a shoestring, MLS is able to provide ongoing dedicated services to marine life, especially whales. The operation of the group is top notch, and they are nothing but truly inspirational with regards to their knowledge, expertise and passion. Peggy and Stephanie are true "citizen scientists" and are able to clearly communicate their commitment and passion to their volunteers, thus inspiring many others to get involved with this essential operation. They are an example of the best of the best when it comes to non-profits.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had an amazing trip with the Marine Life Studies group. First of all, the crew was fantastic. They helped onboard a team of us who knew almost nothing, but quickly gave us a fun educational orientation. The boat was also great. I love how there were so many ways to pitch in and help this worthy cause. I'm an amateur photographer, and I love that I was able to lend those skills to help save the whales. On top of that, we had incredible close encounters with dolphins, whales, and even orcas! We also went out of our way to help pick up florating trash, doing our best to leave the place better than how we found it. I highly recommend everybody take a trip out with the Marine Life Studies group, of course so you can save entangled whales and help document and clean up our oceans, but also so you can see our amazing sea life!

1 Susan K.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with Marine Life Studies (MLS) was truly a transformative experience. I had the opportunity to intern at MLS over the month of June and July; during my time with them, not only did I discover a passion for the marine life, I made some incredible friends. Working with Peggy and Stephanie was a lot of fun, they are both warm and welcoming but most importantly, they are great leaders. They are dedicated towards the work they do and are constantly looking for ways to improve their work.

MLS is also one of the fastest whale entanglement responders in the Monterey Bay National Marine Life Sanctuary. I was lucky enough to participate in one of their Whale Disentanglement Trainings. MLS’s WET team consists of a highly trained group of individuals devoted towards the conservation of marine life. In addition to the training, I was also part of their awareness program in collaboration with the Boys and Girls club. Peggy and Stephanie created a very unique and informational program to keep the children interested and excited about the marine life. They introduced some hands on activities, which the kids enjoyed a lot and capped it off with an actual whale watch!

The organization is supported by an inspirational group of volunteers. It was amazing to hear all the stories they had to share from their experiences! MLS is a true advocate for the environment encouraging everyone to do the same. Being out in the ocean with whales and dolphins was definitely a humbling experience. I learned so much from the short period of time I spent with them and would work for them anytime. I would highly recommend anyone visiting or living in the area to get involved with the organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Marine Life Studies is full of inspirational and passionate people, dedicated to saving the future of the oceans! I volunteered as an intern here, and I learnt more in 1 month with Marine Life Studies than I have in a year at an aquarium! Nothing can replace learning hands-on in the field. This non-profit organisation dedicate their time to training individuals to the best of their ability. I learnt so much in a short space of time and can’t thank the team enough for it. The effort that Marine Life Studies put in daily with the Whale Entanglement Team (WET) and the boat surveys, is second to none. Great people and great enthusiasm for the ocean. Love and gratitude.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have only been with Marine Life Studies for a few months this year, but it has been an incredible experience thus far. The rotating crew is always willing to teach me anything I need to learn whether its out on the boat, tabling an event, entering data, etc. The fearless leader, Peggy Stap, welcomed me with open arms (literally) and is always eager to let me experience as many roles as I can to get as much out of my experience with research and data as I possibly can. Being out on the boat participating in data collection and research has by far been the most rewarding part of my experiences thus far, and I am looking forward to continuing to help Marine Life Studies in all their education and research in the future. This is an amazing organization full of great people!

1 Melissa E V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with Peggy and team is one of the most selfish things I've ever done. She brings her joy of marine life to every volunteer - empowering, educating, and welcoming every person to the teams she assembles for each research and disentanglement outing. She's an inclusive leader who sees the talents of everyone she meets.

Peggy's loving and approachable nature make volunteering fun, but what makes her really special is how adept she is at building teams and empowering them to not only act, but to empower others. Peggy is a leader in the truest sense of the word.

As someone who works in tech, I'm in awe of Peggy's fearlessness in implementing and using technology to its fullest in order to achieve the objectives of her organization. She's open to new ideas, and demonstrates a comfort with leading through ambiguity that is a model anyone can learn from.

The work Marine Life Studies and the Whale Entanglement Team under Peggy's leadership is doing today will save animals in the present, and will inform our interactions with marine life for generations to come. 

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for this organization for a few years now. I enjoy going out on the research vessel for their research boat surveys in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. I've been fortunate to witness and help out when there was an entangled whale response. It's great to know and be part of a group of people that are trying to protect the animals that inhabit the Bay where I live.

1 Yesenia O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with Marine Life Studies in September of 2017. It has been such an amazing and humbling experience since I've started! I love that everybody on this team is dedicated to preserving our ocean and the marine wildlife within it. Through MLS, I have met many inspiring individuals who share the same passion for the ocean. I feel proud to be a part of this team! This organization is truly amazing

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with Marine Life Studies in September 2017 as a marine biology student and this organization not only provided me with amazing hands on experience, but also the opportunity to meet so many inspiring individuals with the same passion for ocean stewardship. Everyone at MLS shares a love for ocean conservation and strives to share their knowledge with the public, as well as do critical research on local ecosystem health. I loved my time with Peggy and the rest of the crew and would recommend getting involved with this organization (and their mission) to anyone.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After a lifetime of ocean oriented activities I was inspired by an article I read about Marine life Studies and their Whale Entanglement Team and was fortunate to to be able to meet Peggy and other volunteers at Whalefest 2016. I have been a volunteer since that time and It continues to be a great and rewarding experience. Whether identifying different marine mammals for a national data base, helping to locate and rescue whales entangled in fishing gear, plucking floating Mylar balloons from the bay or scraping barnacles off the bottom of the boat in dry dock, the dedication and commitment to excellence I have witnessed from Peggy and the other volunteers is awesome. There is more marine life concentrated in the Monterey Bay than in any other location that I can think of. Marine Life Studies is doing important work and I am proud to volunteer with them.
Tim

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My interest in marine studies led me to volunteer with Marine Life Studies in September of 2016. My contributions have included many activities; boat maintenance, data recording, photography, marine mammal disentanglement training, helmsman duties, dinghy operation, drone pilot certification, and helping with a couple of PR events. I have learned a lot. Peggy, her staff and volunteers are very knowledgeable, experts really in marine mammals and birds. The entire organization is great, low key and very helpful to all participants. I have never had a bad day on the water with Marine Life Studies.
I have found the organization to be responsible both to the environment and to the animals we are researching. Most of my time has been spent as crew on survey trips into Monterey bay. We locate and document marine mammal activity, mostly dolphins and whales.
Marine Life Studies appears to be effectively and efficiently run. The staff work hard not only on the research but on the other duties required for the organization to function. They have been straight forward in fund raising and the use of their resources. They are really committed to being as effective as possible.
It has been a pleasure to be involved with Marine Life Studies. Hopefully my small contribution is helping their conversation efforts.

Keith

1 Rosie C.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Marine Life Studies since September 2017. I have been out on several boat surveys and recently volunteered at Whalefest in Monterey. I am always impressed with how dedicated everyone is to the organization, most of whom don't take home any paycheck. Everyone there is driven by a passion for their work on the water, and protecting our local marine wildlife. It's an amazing group of people doing crucial work on the bay. I'm proud to be a part of the effort!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with Marine Life Studies for the last few years, doing the "Take it to the Streets" program. I am so impressed with the passion and determination of the group and their work- especially with the Whale Entanglement Team! Peggy and her team are helpful and professional and I look forward to working with them in the future!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

People working hard to preserve what they love. Science and discipline drive the incredible work done by Marine Life Studies. I’m honored to be able to assist. Keep up the amazing work.

1 Chelsea A.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My class of 3rd graders love the presentation provided by Marine Life Studies! My students really enjoyed the hands-on activities and were engaged with all of the new material provided. I highly recommend any classes/programs who are looking to learn more about whales and marine life. It's informative AND lots of fun!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Marine Life Studies came to present to our 3rd graders about whales. The students learned a lot about different types of whales and were able to see a whale vertebrae and a baleen. They learned hands-on the different ways in which whales eat! Students were engaged and very interested. We appreciated this fantastic opportunity.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Peggy and staff/volunteers do a great job year-round. We have attended their yearly "Flip for Whales" fundraiser and have always been amazed how dedicated and invested all are in their mission to grow this very worthwhile program. The day on the bay is always enjoyable, and experiencing the wildlife up close and personal is an awesome reminder of the need to help these animals that are generally out of site unless you are on the water! Thanks.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

MLS is a wonderful organization that helps not only humans understand the importance of the ocean around us, but also provide heroic efforts to untangle whales from nets & buoys left in the undersea.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was fortunate to meet Stephanie at the Marine Life Studies booth during the January 2017 Whale Fest. She outlined the work of the Whale Entanglement Team, showing pictures of entangled whales and the various techniques used to free them. At that point I was hooked and felt the need to both learn and help these animals in need. After listening to the Director Peggy Stap give an inspirational speech that same day, I called her and have been volunteering ever since. Even though I had no direct experience, Peggy and her team have taken the time to teach me detailed research and dis-entanglement techniques and has made my time with the crew a rewarding experience.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Peggy, Stephanie, and everyone else who I have met through volunteering with Marine Life Studies have been so nice and welcoming to me and my sweetheart since we've met them. They have been such a pleasure to learn from and volunteer for. I hope that I get to help Peggy with her awesome efforts for a long time to come! Thanks for everything! - Rip :)

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Marine Life Studies is one of the best non-profit organisations I have come across. I began volunteering in 2016 and was so impressed with the knowledge and passion each member brought to the team. Seasonally they educate young minds at the boys and girls club about how to protect our oceans and how to recognize different whales in the population.
The WET team is such a valuable resource in Monterey Bay and Northern California. There has been an increase In recent years of entangled cetaceans and marine mammals in distress. Crab and fish nets leave devastating wounds, and the MLS team risk their lives assessing these distressed animals.
Hands down one of the best non-profit science organizations!

Josh McInnes
Marine Mammal Specialist

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Although this organization is marine based and something that is in my field of Marine Science, they offer opportunities to anyone who is interested in it. You can't find many organizations that are willing to train and teach others about the ins and outs of developing research, boating, outreach, and ocean stewardship skills without certain qualifications or certifications. Not only are they a nonprofit, they are a volunteer organization that spends most of their time either on the water or doing outreach events to inspire the public to protect the ocean and its inhabitants. I've had a pleasure of working with them for the past few years and plan on to continue my time with them as long as I can.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love Ocean. I moved my family to Monterey 2 years ago to live at the Oceanside.
My daughter and I met the members of this organisation at their public event near the Whole Foods store in Monterey.
Peggy and Stephany charmed us immediately with their genuine love and care for the Ocean.
My daughter Nadia, a high school student volunteered for several events for this non-profit, and she will continue to do so.
I am starting my volunteering too.
This is a great educational organisation and it deserves your support.
Sofia Matrosova Khalil, PhD.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The best and most inspiring organization I have ever encountered! I took classes through them as a kid. Peggy showed me how I could turn my love of the ocean and it's creatures into a career in conservation. These classes were informative and inspiring. I leaned what it means to be a scientist and a conservationist. It solidified my desire to go into science and marine science. Peggy served as my role model and spark champion always helping me grow and become the person I am today.

In high school I came back and began to volunteer with marine life studies. Through my different roles I witnessed first hand the impact the organization has on the kids who go through it. The smiles on their face seeing whales for the first time, the genuine happiness picking up trash and leaning about the ocean and how to protect it these kids have. The same happiness and spark marine life studies brought out in me when I was one of their students.

Doing their education programs and volunteering through marine life studies is the reason I am the person I am today. It's the reason I'm a marine science major. It's the reason I have devoted my career and life to the ocean and conservation. It's the reason why I'm an ocean educator.

This organization is exactly what we need to inspire the next generation of scientists, conservationists and future leaders in our community. I know we are all in good hands because of the caring staff and volunteers at marine life studies inspiring our next generation of leaders.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Peggy has the most loving heart and you see her genuine love for life the minute you meet her. She has found an amazing group of people to work with her supporting her marine research and education. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to be part of MLS while living in Monterey and it truly was life changing for me! I was able to go out on the water several time with Peggy and saw some of the most incredible things. One day, we observed over 30 individual Biggs killer whales feeding on a gray whale carcass. At one point seven females jumped out of the water in succession! Definitely once in a lifetime! Marine Life Studies has already had such a positive impact in the Monterey Bay Area, and I encourage everyone to help it continue to grow! Thank you Peggy, Stephanie, and everyone at MLS for your dedication to marine conservation!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough about Peggy, the crew and all the wonderful volunteers/donors of Marine Life Studies. What started out as a way to participate in marine mammal research has blossomed into a multi-facet non-profit organization that provides an incredible service to Monterey Bay area. Along with the research, she has turned her energies toward the public to further help us understand the ravages of environmental pollution. MLS has educational programs showing school children the diversity of ocean life in the bay. They do it in fun ways with many hands-on experiences that help the children retain the learning and become future stewards of our environment. Peggy also participates in community events around Monterey speaking about conservation issues of our land and sea. They are also part of the Whale Entanglement Team helping to save whales in distress. Peggy and the crew of MLS work incredible hours and their service is important to all who value environmental conservation not just in Monterey Bay but everywhere.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have interned with Marine Life Studies for three consecutive summers, since 2013, and I cannot express my gratitude to this fantastic non profit for welcoming me with open arms and teaching me a vast array of skills with respect to ocean and marine mammal conservation. The founder of he organisation works resolutely and enthusiastically to educate the public on such issues. She is 100% dedicated to furthering the skills of her volunteers and is relentless in her efforts to help us broaden our knowledge and expertise. Since beginning as a volunteer with Marine Life Studies I have learned invaluable life lessons as well as appropriate and relevant skills for my field, including data collection, vessel maintenance and driving, education awareness programming, and whale disentangling. This organisation is a powerhouse of unique and dedicated people and capabilities and I couldn't be happier to work with them!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a recent graduate from Marine Sciences, I started volunteering with MLS while I was interning at another environmental conservation NGO. I got involved with the WET team and was immediately impressed by the quality of work and passion from their team. I participated in one disentanglement mission and despite not being able to find the whale, we spent a long day in rough water due to everyone's commitment to the cause. Although I no longer live in CA, I still donate because this is an organization that is so well run and full of passionate people doing amazing work.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Marine Life Studies is home to some of the kindest and most incredible people I've ever met. They all work tirelessly to protect the ocean and the creatures who life in it. I first learned about Marine Life Studies during a summer program when I was little and I couldn't get enough! Cleaning up litter with them on the weekends (for years) became one of the highlights of my week, and I'll never forget going on the research boat, and the years we brought kids out on the ocean for the first time with the education program. This group has been a major part of my life and I can't thank Peggy Stap and the volunteers enough for everything they have taught me and the love of the ocean they enforced in me with all of the incredible work they do.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Peggy Stap and her crew are selfless, extremely dedicated, and relentless in accomplishing the goals they have put on themselves for Marine Life Studies. This is apparent with every interaction.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We attended the Monterey Bay Marine Life Studies Fund raiser Flip for Whales this past weekend. It was an outstanding event! From the breakfast to the well educated volunteers and yes we saw whales! The event had many activities, raffle prizes along with a silent auction, and their drawing for a boat. We were even surprised with a thank you gift at the end. You can tell this event was put together with a lot of thought and love. All of the volunteers were very professional and the event ran so smoothly. I can't wait for next year to attend the next one!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

For 6 years Marine Life Studies has offered hands on lessons and a whale watching experience for members attending the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County. Members have enjoyed learning about the marine life that reside in their backyard and being given the opportunity to see it first hand on a whale watching experience in the bay. Marine Life Studies has also given our members the opportunity to protect marine life in the bay through their 'Take it to the Streets' program. Both the Whale Watching and the 'Take it to the Streets' program are valuable experiences that our members look forward to each year.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had just moved back to Monterey after finishing a bachelors degree in Oceanography. I had been feeling a little lost in my direction and looking for work to keep me busy and motivated. I was fortunate enough to meet Peggy and she immediately welcomed me to join the Marine Life Studies team. This non-profit is so much more than cetacean research. It provides aspiring, young marine scientists a chance to gain experience in the field and communicate the importance of science to the public and the next generation of ocean stewards. This organization works endlessly to provide opportunities for motivated individuals to get involved and put their strengths to work. Through our work with the Whale Entanglement Team we have create a network within the maritime community and improved public awareness of the entanglement issues. Marine Life Studies provides educational opportunities to elementary and middle school students that would not have been able to learn about or see the ocean otherwise. Marine Life Studies has changed my life and I have been able to move forward with my career as a marine scientist and educator because of my time spent with this inspiring organization.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I truly enjoy and appreciate the time I spend with Peggy and the crew at MLS.
I assist with the Whale Entanglement Team as well and trust my well being to MLS professionalism.