Defenders hosts virtual and in-person events to engage with and educate wildlife lovers across the nation. When Defenders has upcoming national events, you’ll find details on this page. You can also explore past events by checking out our recorded events here!  

Central Coast State Parks Association: Virtual Mind Walks Lecture Series

Sea Otter Savvy founder and director Gena Bentall will tell the story of the sea otters’ return to a heavily populated California coast.
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Untangling California's Kelp Forests: How a Marine Heatwave and a Sea Star Catastrophe Unveiled an Ecosystem Mosaic

Kick off Sea Otter Awareness week with Joshua Smith, Ph.D. to see how the double-whammy of two unprecedented events...
Register Here!

Science Sunday: Recovery of Sea Otters in the Northeast Pacific

Sea otters are a model species for investigating how the recovery of a top marine predator impacts ocean ecosystems.
Register Here!

Marine Mammal Monday: Sea Otters and San Francisco

Sophia Lyon, M.S. and Jane Rudebusch, M.S. will relate findings from their graduate research on sea otters at the northern extent of their range in California and on the potential for migration into areas of their historical range in San Francisco Bay and northern California.
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In-person Event: Oakland Athletics Game Features We Were Here

Attend (or watch on TV) Monday's Oakland Athletics game and follow the As (@Athletics) on Twitter to learn more about the We Were Here program!*
We Were Here

Float Down the Coast Livestream*

Sea otter experts will report live from as far north as Washington or British Columbia and all along the California coast south to Baja...
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Sea Otter Energy Budgets: Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck 

What does it take to be a sea otter? Learn about how sea otters balance their budgets, and how you can help them do it! Heather Liwanag, Ph.D., will explain how sea otters have adapted to life in the cold ocean.
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New Ecological Paradigms Informing the Recovery of Sea Otters in Northern California*

Brent Hughes, Ph.D., will discuss the conditions and challenges that will guide the return of sea otters to areas of California...
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Why Are Baby Sea Otters So Fluffy? 

Sea otters grooming themselves as they float in Avila and Morro Bay are doing much more than getting clean and looking cute.
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Talk to a Sea Otter Aquarist!

Watch a pawsome otter enrichment session, learn all about taking care of the Aquarium's resident sea otters from Sea Otter Aquarist Stephany Simmons and ask questions live!
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In-person Event: Sea Otters After Dark

Ohlone Cafe co-founders Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino will recount the long history of sea otters and humans in Northern California...
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Cultural Significance of Sea Otters in the Pacific Northwest

Peter Hatch with the Elakha Alliance in Oregon will discuss the cultural importance of restoring this apex predator to an important portion of its historical range.
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Paint Night: Paint A Sea Otter's Habitat

Bring your artistic self (along with paint, brushes and a canvas) to this fun and relaxing virtual Paint Night!
Join Here!

Saving Sea Otters with Heather and Mike Harris

12:30 -1:30 PM PDT
Host: Marine Mammal Center

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Upcoming Events

Untangling California's Kelp Forests: How a Marine Heatwave and a Sea Star Catastrophe Unveiled an Ecosystem Mosaic

12:00 - 1:00 PM PDT
Host: Point Reyes National Seashore Association, in association with Sea Otter Savvy
Kick off Sea Otter Awareness week with Joshua Smith, Ph.D. to see how the double-whammy of two unprecedented events—a marine heatwave and a die-off of sea stars—led to a sea urchin outbreak that has ravaged kelp and how this changing ecosystem helped fine-tune our understanding of the critical role sea otters play in the kelp forest mosaic.

Science Sunday: Recovery of Sea Otters in the Northeast Pacific

1:30 - 2:30 PM PDT
Host: Seymour Marine Discovery Center
Sea otters are a model species for investigating how the recovery of a top marine predator impacts ocean ecosystems. As sea otters expand into new regions and habitats, such as saltmarsh ecosystems, they are unraveling secrets previously unknown to science. Join Brent Hughes, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Sonoma State University, to learn more about the sea otter’s ecological role in seagrass beds and how collaborative research ties to the conservation of sea otters in the Northeast Pacific.

Marine Mammal Monday: Sea Otters and San Francisco

4:00 - 5:00 PM PDT
Host: The Marine Mammal Center
Sophia Lyon, M.S. and Jane Rudebusch, M.S. will relate findings from their graduate research on sea otters at the northern extent of their range in California and on the potential for migration into areas of their historical range in San Francisco Bay and northern California.

 

In-person Event: Oakland Athletics Game Features We Were Here

6:40 - 9:00 PM PDT
Address: 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland, CA 94621
Attend (or watch on TV) Monday's Oakland Athletics game and follow the As (@Athletics) on Twitter to learn more about the We Were Here program!*

Float Down the Coast Livestream*

12:00 - 1:00 PM PDT
Host: Sea Otter Savvy and California State Parks
Sea otter experts will report live from as far north as Washington or British Columbia and all along the California coast south to Baja to share some science and stories about sea otters. Here's the lineup as it stands now.

 

Sea Otter Energy Budgets: Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck 

2:30 - 3:30 PM PDT
Host: Central Coast Aquarium
What does it take to be a sea otter? Learn about how sea otters balance their budgets, and how you can help them do it! Join Heather Liwanag, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and an expert on body temperature regulation and metabolism, as she explains how sea otters have adapted to life in the cold ocean.

New Ecological Paradigms Informing the Recovery of Sea Otters in Northern California*

5:00 - 6:00 PM PDT
Host: Marine Conservation Institute
Brent Hughes, Ph.D., will discuss the conditions and challenges that will guide the return of sea otters to areas of California that they occupied before the fur trade extirpated them.

 

Why Are Baby Sea Otters So Fluffy? 

10:00 - 11:00 AM PDT
Host: Central Coast Aquarium
Sea otters grooming themselves as they float in Avila and Morro Bay are doing much more than getting clean and looking cute. How they care for their specialized fur plays a vital role in keeping them warm…or not. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo graduate student Kate Riordan focuses on the thermal and buoyant qualities of sea otter fur, how the fur changes from infancy through adulthood and how a spill from nearby rigs could impact the area’s sea otter population. Check out her talk on the value of sea otter fuzz!

Talk to a Sea Otter Aquarist!

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM PDT
Host: Monterey Bay Aquarium:
Watch a pawsome otter enrichment session, learn all about taking care of the Aquarium's resident sea otters from Sea Otter Aquarist Stephany Simmons and ask questions live!

In-person Event: Sea Otters After Dark

6:00 - 10:00 PM PDT
Address: The Exploratorium, Pier 15, (Embarcadero at Green Street), San Francisco, CA 94111
Ohlone Cafe co-founders Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino will recount the long history of sea otters and humans in Northern California—the thriving pre-colonial otter populations, the near extinction of sea otter through the fur trade and today’s efforts to restore and coexist with sea otters once again. In addition, Sea Otter Savvy’s Heather Barrett will share the inside scoop on sea otter biology.

Cultural Significance of Sea Otters in the Pacific Northwest

5:00 - 6:00 PM PDT
Peter Hatch with the Elakha Alliance in Oregon will discuss the cultural importance of restoring this apex predator to an important portion of its historical range.

Paint Night: Paint A Sea Otter's Habitat

5:00 - 7:00 PM PDT
Host: Defenders of Wildlife
Bring your artistic self (along with paint, brushes and a canvas) to this fun and relaxing virtual Paint Night! Paint along while an artist in Alaska provides instruction for creating a painting of the rich, biodiverse habitat of the sea otter.

Saving Sea Otters with Heather and Mike Harris

12:30 -1:30 PM PDT
Host: Marine Mammal Center
Join Dr. Heather Harris, veterinarian at The Marine Mammal Center, and Mike Harris, sea otter biologist at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, to learn about their work helping the threatened southern sea otter.

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