Whale Week is comprised of a dedicated group of individuals and organizations working towards a common goal - protecting North Atlantic right whales from extinction. Oceana, Tybee Island Marine Science Center, Loop-it-Up, are our original collaborators and we are happy to have many new partners and sponsors join the team for Whale Week every year.
Education and Stewardship
Whale Week’s primary goal is to educate people of all ages about North Atlantic right whales, what is affecting the NARW and its habitat, how humans and other wildlife are affected by these changes to our ecosystem, and how humans can implement change for the better. Each event at Whale Week has an educational component, geared towards children, adults, or both.
By offering a series of events to all members of the community in a variety of locations, Whale Week aims to bring together people of diverse cultural backgrounds, united by a common cause. The message of “all people need to work together to protect our whales” is the thread tying the series of events together.
Promotion of the Arts
Creativity can be applied towards every aspect of life. By embracing creative thinking, we learn creative problem-solving. The Whale Week art component of the school curriculum helps to instill creative problem-solving, art appreciation, and teaches children how art can make a statement. This message is also reflected by our professional artists. Each participating artist is asked to present their view of the NARW to help make a statement, serving as a reminder and to urge the community to think deeply on the matter. Both student artwork and professional artwork will be displayed with the intention to help raise awareness and funds towards the conservation of the NARW.
How we started
In 2017, Paulita Bennett-Martin of Oceana teamed up with Sulfur Studios to create "Lines & Strikes" art auction to benefit the North Atlantic right whale. Of many participating artists, Tara Garrigan donated artwork to the sea life themed benefit show. Garrigan had also been working for several years as the illustrator for a children's book by authors Angela Kakabeeke and Emily Slusher titled "Whale Alert!" which was published in the Summer of 2018. Shortly after publishing, as promised, Garrigan dropped off a copy to someone she knew would appreciate it, Paulita Bennett-Martin. This sparked a discussion of "what will we do next?" Upon brainstorming ways to further the momentum of educating the public about the NARW, the name Molly Lieberman came up. Lieberman's local organization, Loop-it-Up, immediately jumped on board to help spread the word by implementing programs in several of Savannah's public schools. This was the beginning of Whale Week.
Because of the Savannah community's propensity for grassroots efforts, we are able to continue growing the program, making it an annual event for all members of the Savannah community to come together to enjoy. In our second year of Whale Week with many amazing new and continuing partners and sponsors, we're excited to share the news that Georgia's governor officially proclaimed December Right Whale Awareness Month.
Now we are ready for the third year of working towards ocean stewardship again in Whale Week 3.0!