The Foundation



“To stir curiosity by connecting art and science in the spirit of John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts and the legacy of the Western Flyer.”

The Western Flyer Foundation is an educational venture whose vision is:


• To inspire deeper appreciation of marine environments.

• To see the world through the lenses of both science and art.

• To understand your community’s place in a larger world.


“…designed more to stir curiosity than to answer questions…” (from Steinbeck’s foreword to Beyond Pacific Tides, 3rd Edition)

Steinbeck wrote about the tidepools and how profoundly they illustrate the interconnectedness of all things, folded together in an ever-expanding universe bound by the elastic string of time.  It is our goal to ensure future generations are able, in the words of John Steinbeck, “to look from the tide pools, to the stars and back again.”


The Western Flyer Foundation stirs curiosity about nature by connecting art, literature, and science through the legacy of the Western Flyer.


The Foundation’s programs will provide rich, unique and remarkable education, research, and creative opportunities aboard the Western Flyer.


The Foundation will offer free at-sea experiential learning for school children, from Alaska to Mexico.


Using the Western Flyer as a research and learning platform, its programs will blend together science, art, and literature to excite and galvanize future generations inspired by the remarkable story of John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts.


Currently, the Western Flyer Foundation is restoring the Flyer to its original state, preserving the boat’s entire “DNA,” with the singular exception of replacing the original Atlas diesel engine with a hybrid, “green” power system and silent electric drive.


Once restoration is completed, the Western Flyer will use Monterey, California, as its homeport, from which it will travel the Pacific coast of North America from Alaska to Mexico, including Baja California and the Sea of Cortez.


The Flyer will dedicate time each year for basic marine research, equipped with state-of-the art technology including a remotely operating underwater vehicle (ROV) capable of operating at depths to 4,000 meters.



WESTERN FLYER FOUNDATION . 2726 Walnut Ave., Signal Hill, CA 90755.  Tel: 949-903-6873

The Foundation
The Foundation
The Foundation