MONTEREY — Organizers of Whalefest Monterey and Fisherman’s Wharf Association are inviting students entering grades 6 to 12 in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties to participate in the Whalefest Monterey Ocean-Themed 2020 Student Summer Essay Contest.

“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,” according to Mary Alice Cerrito Fettis, chair of Whalefest Monterey. “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.”

For rules and Symposium topics, go to the Whalefest Monterey page on

Submissions are due no later than 12 p.m. on Monday, July 20. Essays will be judged on originality of thought and clarity of prose.

Three $100 prizes will be awarded for students entering grades 6 to 8 for a 300 to 500-word essay, one per grade, and four $100 prizes will be awarded for students entering grades 9 to 12 for a 500 to 1,000-word essay, also one per grade.

Winners will be notified by Sept. 14.

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