Orange County water providers from north to south have pledged to support the Wyland Foundation’s first-ever “Streams of Hope” public art and community cleanup campaign. The campaign’s goals are to raise awareness of water and marine pollution and to inspire community action to reduce the flow of litter and harmful chemicals that enter our waterways.
“As human beings, we interface with the urban water cycle every day,” says Municipal Water District of Orange County’s Board President Megan Yoo Schneider. “When we overwater our yards or forget to pick up after our dogs, we are unintentionally impacting our waterways through our negligence. The pollution from land-based activities can have harmful effects on our communities downstream and can have serious impacts on marine life. Each one of us can contribute to solving this problem.”
The campaign includes several components. The first is a countywide public art installation. Local artists from participating cities collaborate with marine life artist Wyland on a series of wooden relief baby whale statues named “Stella” that will be placed in high-profile, public locations throughout the county this April in celebration of Earth Month. Once completed, local artist names, and the vision behind their artwork, can be found on the Streams of Hope website, www.mystreamsofhope.com. Additionally, the website will host a map of Stella locations throughout the county so that Orange County residents and visitors can tour them.
The action components of the campaign include organized community cleanup events and a wealth of information, tips, and hands-on activities for Orange County children and adults alike. Parents, teachers, and students can download water-centric lesson plans that are grounded in environmental literacy and good water stewardship, and budding artists can download and design their own Stella masterpiece, which can be shared across social media channels.
“Good water stewardship starts with each and every one of us managing our limited water resources while promoting the sustainability of our ecosystems,” says Adel Hagekhalil, General Manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. “Programs like Streams of Hope can help focus the public’s attention and bring us together to achieve these important goals.”
This past week, several Orange County water providers have confirmed their participation in the campaign, including the cities of Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, and Westminster, the El Toro Water District, South Coast Water District, and Mesa Water.
The campaign is presented in partnership with the Wyland Foundation, the Municipal Water District of Orange County, Orange County Conservation Corps, and the County of Orange. It is sponsored by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and the Orange County Department of Education’s Inside the Outdoors Foundation, with additional support from the Toro Company, USA Surfing, and KCAL9/KCBS2.
The innovative, inaugural Streams of Hope campaign is a month-long, action-based community event that runs from April 1-30. It has been designed to perfectly complement Earth Day celebrations countywide.
About the Municiapl Water District of Orange County
The Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) is a wholesale water provider and resource planning agency whose efforts focus on sound planning and appropriate investments in water supply, water use efficiency and conservation, public information and outreach, legislative advocacy, water education for all ages, and emergency preparedness.