Huntington Beach Makes Waves with Water Wise Art Displays by Municipal Water District of Orange County May 20, 2022 Member Submitted News HUNTINGTON BEACH – This past April, the City of Huntington Beach made waves with its participation in the Wyland Foundation’s inaugural “Streams of Hope” public art and community cleanup campaign. The Wyland Foundation, Municipal Water District of Orange County, OC Conservation Corps, and the County of Orange’s Adopt a Channel Program present the action-oriented campaign in partnership with additional support from Orange County water providers, the Orange County Department of Education, and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Through a collection of public art installations, the campaign seeks to raise awareness of good water stewardship and pollution prevention. Three local artists and one group of talented high school students were selected to illustrate their water wise message on the eight-foot-long baby gray whale statuettes, affectionately named “Stella”. The finished Stellas were then placed throughout the City of Huntington Beach to serve as a visual reminder of the important role people play in protecting our oceans and waterways. On Earth Day, the city hosted a press conference at Huntington Beach Pier to celebrate the unveiling of these art pieces. In attendance was Municipal Water District of Orange County Board Member, Karl Seckel, P.E. “This campaign is a critical reminder that our everyday actions can significantly impact water quality for generations to come. Preserving our natural resources requires that we be aware of environmental issues that can affect our future,” he stated. “The Municipal Water District of Orange County is grateful for this valuable collaboration that has allowed us to highlight the efforts of our community members and to promote good water stewardship for all ages.” Each completed Stella tells a specific, personal story. One of the Huntington Beach community artists, Sharon Frances, designed her whale with the local landscape in mind. Using a combination of glass, ceramic, resin, organic materials, and trash found on the beach, Frances highlighted the complex wetland ecosystem of Huntington Beach’s Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. She stated, “We hope the whale will help us think about our power to impact nature—and have a personal responsibility to address environmental problems.” Artists Rick Blake and Laura Svette designed their Stellas to reflect California’s unique landscape from the coastline to the mountains reminding us that California natives not only save water and thrive in our semi-arid climate, but also contribute to reducing harmful runoff from entering our waterways in the first place. Additional information about Streams of Hope can be found on the campaign website, www.mystreamsofhope.com, along with a living map of Stella placements across Orange County and ways to get involved.