Central Florida Schools Get Inspired by Area Marine Life Experts in Marine Mural Painting Competition

Sponsored by Wyland Foundation, Protect Florida Whales License Plate, 6-City Tour Brings Art Supplies, Science and Inspiration to Promote Next Generation Stewardship

Aliso Viejo, California, UNITED STATES

FORT PIERCE, Fla., Nov. 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Wyland Foundation, with support from the Protect Florida Whales License Plate, is embarking on an educational tour to teach children throughout Central Florida, Grades 5-8, about the varied marine life off the coast of Florida — and how to depict their discoveries through life size murals. As part of the eight city campaign, Sept. 25-Nov. 25, marine mammal experts, including renowned marine mammal rescue specialist Steve McCulloch, will travel to schools for presentations and Q&As with students about the many ways they can help create a sustainable future for Florida's marine mammals.

In addition, the Wyland Foundation is providing participating schools with classroom mural kits, including paints, brushes, and lessons, for classes to work collaboratively on 50-square foot murals reflecting the marine life off the coast. Students will have an opportunity to enter their artwork in the Wyland National Water is Life Classroom Art and Mural Challenge at www.wylandfoundation.org/artchallenge.

"Our ocean is among the world's greatest treasures," said Wyland, whose marine life murals are seen by more than 1 billion people around the world every year. "The future of our ocean and coastal waters depends on the support of millions of people. Art is a wonderful way to focus our attention on this resource."

Students first learn about the roles of marine mammals to Central Florida's ecosystems, the ways human activities impact marine mammal populations, and ways individuals can play a role in ensuring a sustainable future for the animals. After doing their initial research, students collaborate to create a mural to be displayed in a local community center, with an artist's message. The Wyland Foundation and the volunteer educators hope the process of interpreting the wonder of the ocean through art will lead students to a greater understanding of their role as future caretakers of the resource.

Participating Schools in the Six-City Central Florida Marine Mammal Conservation Tour Include:

Nov. 5 Manatee Academy K-8 - Port St. Lucie
  Storm Grove Elementary - Vero Beach
Nov. 6 Odyssey Charter - Palm Bay
  Odyssey Charter 
Nov. 7 Roosevelt Middle School - West Palm Beach (9:30 am)
Nov. 7 New River Middle School - Fort Lauderdale (11 a.m.)
TBD Indian River County School (TBD)
Nov. 13 Pine Jog Elementary - West Palm Beach (11 am)

Wyland Foundation:

Founded by renowned environmental artist Wyland in 1993, the Wyland Foundation has helped children and families around the nation to rediscover the importance of healthy ocean and waterways through public art programs, classroom science education, and live events. The foundation gives children the tools they need to become more creative, positive, and solution oriented. At a time in history when the arts and the environment are in peril, the Wyland Foundation fosters programs and partnerships to ensure a healthier planet and a brighter outlook for the next generation. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and has worked directly with more than one million children since its inception. Learn more at www.wylandfoundation.org