Community Events

Past Events

“Lend a Hand and Learn” West Coast Tour

Summer 2005

The Wyland Foundation, in partnership with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (UCSD), and the Surfrider Foundation, brought the Wyland Ocean Challenge to thousands of families along the West Coast. The “Lend a Hand and Learn” 12-city coastal awareness tour began in Anchorage, Alaska on June 26th and traveled 1,700 miles, concluding in La Paz, Mexico on August 14. With statewide coastal cleanups, guided nature walks, art and music festivals, and community-based coastal education events at local aquariums, zoos and science centers, this unique public outreach program engaged diverse audiences to more fully appreciate local water resources. Among the interactive mobile tour exhibits were a water-quality testing station, watershed model, a “shifting baselines” exhibit, and hands-on conservation art activities, including a 600-square-foot mosaic. The centerpiece of the program was a 1,000-square-foot interactive watershed maze in which families discovered the impacts of human activities on local water habitats and ecosystems. The tour reached more than 80,000 people and was featured in over 500 newspapers across the nation.

Wyland Foundation Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo


The Wyland Foundation team, wonderful volunteers, and Youth Ambassadors for the Planet celebrated the 50th Anniversary of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, Florida last month. The featured speaker was Dr. Sylvia Earle who delivered an inspiring message to make a change to make a difference for our blue planet. Dr. Earle also unveiled Wyland's commemorative gift, an 8-foot giclee of Wyland’s original painting, Mangroves to the Reef, featuring Pennekamp Park from above and below the surface.

The Wyland Foundation hosted a community mural with young Florida-based artist Guy Snell painting the main subject, a Hawksbill turtle, and Youth Ambassador for the Planet Lilly Tougas helping to support other children painting. Both Lilly and Guy where a huge draw with kids and adults. Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution was also on site featuring the Protect Florida Whales license plate and educating attendees about the dozen species of whales that come to the warm Florida waters to calve and nurse their young during the winter months. To learn more about John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, click here.

Water is Life Classroom Mural Contest

Contest Winners


Congratulations to all of the students who took part in the Water is Life classroom mural contest this Fall! Through the support of wonderful teachers, parents and sponsors, more than 3,000 students participated in this national campaign to help them gain a better understanding of water conservation through art.

We are happy to announce that Debbie Golding's 8th Grade Art Class from Westglades Middle School, in Parkland, FL was named the Grand Prize winner of the Water is Life classroom mural contest. Congratulations, Westglades Middle School Students!

We were truly impressed and inspired by all of the beautiful artwork that was submitted. Each and every mural received was a unique and creative interpretation of the important role that water plays in our lives, reflecting a range of issues affecting ocean health, from over development to declining marine biodiversity. Throughout all of the beautiful murals, students were able to depict marine problems by highlighting the astonishing beauty that still remains in the ocean.

Click here to view all of the winning entries.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude for every student that participated in the contest for their environmental stewardship and creativity - along with our wonderful sponors who made this contest possible: ToyotaJM Family, and Fredrix Artist Canvas.

2006 Tour Highlights:



  • 10 Cities
  • 9 States
  • 2,005 Miles
  • 50,000 Tour Attendees
  • 23 Million Media Impressions
  • Water Quality sampling with professional educators
  • Mural painting with Wyland of Local River Systems
  • Computerized Water Commitment Kiosk
  • 2.1 Million Gallons of Water Saved
  • Photo Gallery

    The kids not only get it, they want action. They want to get involved in issues regarding the conservation of clean water and a healthy ocean.