Baby Gray Whales Exhibit Coming to Southern California’s Waterways
A sprawling exhibition of 40 brightly decorated baby gray whale murals is making its way to Orange County as part of “Streams of Hope™,” an awareness and action campaign to reduce pollution and marine debris along the coast this spring. The first mural in the project will be revealed on Saturday, March 5 at 11:45 a.m., in Dana Point Harbor as part of the Festival of Whales.
The eight-foot-long whales, affectionately known as “Stella,” are being painted by artists across Orange County to be exhibited in shopping centers, city halls, schools, and along Orange County storm channels to remind people about the impacts of land-based pollution on marine ecosystems. The brainchild of OC’s non-profit Wyland Foundation, the campaign is in partnership with the Orange County Conservation Corp, Municipal Water District of Orange County, and the County of Orange, with additional support from the Toro Company, USA Surfing and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
The campaign will culminate on Earth Day with a series of waterways and coastal cleanups.
“We want everyone who comes in contact with Stella to gain a better understanding of the problems of water pollution and how people can help fight the problem every day,” said Steve Creech, president of the Wyland Foundation. “Gray whales are the monarch symbol of our state, but as majestic as they are, they are highly vulnerable to pollution like so many other species.”
The campaign will include a website with a range of ways people can learn about local issues and take specific actions to improve the health of waterways upstream where much of the marine debris starts. Features include a “Streams of Hope” web application will help people identify and adopt areas in their community where trash collects, an instructional art video by renowned marine life artist Wyland, who inspired the exhibition, links to the Adopt-A-Channel waterway clean up program, activities for schools, art lessons in the wild with Dana Wharf Whale Watching, and a gallery of the statuettes and a map to find them.
As part of the unveiling event at the Festival of Whales, the Wyland Foundation will host two days of painting activities on a 12-foot long mural painting easel for families to paint their own version of Stella.
For more information about the effort, please visit www.mystreamsofhope.com
Festival of Whales is at Dana Wharf, Dana Point, Calif.