“Set Sail on a Fantastic Voyage” is this year’s theme for the University of Delaware Sea Grant College Program and Graduate College of Marine Studies’ annual Coast Day celebration. Coast Day will be held Sunday, October 7, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., at UD’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes.
“This year marks both the 25th anniversary of Coast Day and of the designation of the University of Delaware as a Sea Grant College,” says Dr. Carolyn Thoroughgood, dean of the college and Sea Grant director. “Over the years, Coast Day has given us a wonderful opportunity to educate thousands of people about the importance of our marine and coastal environment. Sea Grant and the College of Marine Studies have been fortunate to have the strong support of the state of Delaware behind our efforts. We look forward to honoring this partnership in a special celebration at Coast Day.”
The celebration also will honor the winners of the annual student essay contest and their teachers. The essay contest, with the theme “Protecting the Future Health of Delaware Bay,” is designed to create ocean awareness in students throughout the state. In addition to the essays, the winning photos in the Coast Day 25th Anniversary Photo Contest — “Delaware and the Sea” — will also be on display.
A highlight of Coast Day will include a lecture and book signing by a renowned authority on the New Jersey shark attacks of 1916 — Dr. Richard Fernicola, an Allenhurst physician and author of Twelve Days of Terror. Fernicola’s research became the basis for the television documentaries “Legends of Killer Sharks” and “Shark Attack: 1916” that aired on the Discovery Channel and The History Channel, respectively.
Coast Day is a day that gives marine scientists and graduate students the opportunity to showcase their research on a large variety of marine topics — from the economics of beach management to global climate change to protein synthesis in the Antarctic sea urchin. Their research will be presented through posters, laboratory tours, hands-on activities, and dozens of research demonstrations.
A special exhibit will focus on UD’s upcoming deep-sea expedition — Extreme 2001 — that will explore hydrothermal vents on the floor of the Pacific Ocean beginning in mid-October. This exhibit will feature a walk-through mockup of Alvin, the famous submersible that was used to explore the wreck of the Titanic. Marine scientists from the University of Delaware will use Alvin to descend over a mile to the ocean floor. Visitors will also learn about an educational project involving schoolchildren around the nation being conducted in conjunction with Extreme 2001.
Bioinvaders, such as the Asian shore crab and Phragmites, will be the focus of another special exhibit. Educational materials that will explain how these non-native species were introduced to the area, the negative impacts of these species, and what can be done to minimize their effects on the marine ecosystem will be provided. Visitors will also have an opportunity to talk to scientists who are studying harmful algal blooms and learn about these microscopic organisms of the ocean. And don’t miss the chance to safely admire the beauty and grace of the different jellyfish of the Mid-Atlantic coast.
New this year is a treasure hunt for children. Prizes will be awarded to children who successfully answer a variety of questions about the marine environment. The answers can be found in the many displays and exhibits. Many hands-on activities such as designing oyster-shell necklaces, creating a sea life mural, and “Making Waves!,” which demonstratrates how sand moves along the coastline have been designed to capture the interest of children.
In another activity, kids of all ages can test their favorite bait in the ever-popular “Great Crab Race,” a fun activity that educates visitors about the region’s most treasured crustacean — the blue crab. In addition, the entire family will enjoy participating in marine versions of popular game shows such as “Who Wants to be a Millionaire Oceanographer?” and the “Coastal Family Feud.”
Many favorite activities from years past are also on the schedule. For the twelfth year in a row, contestants in the crab cake cook-off will use their “special” recipe in hopes of making “Delaware’s Best Crab Cakes.” Seafood-chowder lovers will get the chance to vote for their favorite in the annual Seafood Chowder Challenge — a friendly competition between three local chefs’ associations. A variety of seafood culinary presentations will be given, featuring sea bass to shrimp.
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Delaware Geological Survey. Survey geologists have planned many activities and displays to help kick off their celebration at Coast Day. They will give away posters, which show the historic shorelines of Cape Henlopen from 1800 to the present with the historic Cape Henlopen Lighthouse in the background, and bookmarks that include the geologic time scale.
In addition, visitors will be able to see fossils from Delaware — ranging from a dinosaur footprint to a mammoth tusk and molar to microscopic fossils. Children can become a “geologist” for a day as they sift sand in search of a fossil to take home. And everybody can have the opportunity to have their rocks and fossils identified in a rock ’n’ fossil road show.
A number of businesses and industries are sponsoring special exhibits and events at Coast Day, including Tidewater Utilities, Motiva, Conectiv, SPI Pharma Group, and Oceanport Industries. Admission to this educational and fun-filled event is free; parking is $2. For more information, contact the UD Marine Public Education Office at (302) 831-8083 or visit the Coast Day Web site at www.ocean.udel.edu/CoastDay.
COAST DAY 2001 —ABBREVIATED SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES
Special Ceremony: A celebration to honor both the 25th Anniversary of Coast Day and the 25 years of the University of Delaware as a Sea Grant College (11:30 a.m.)
Special Exhibit: Dive into the Deep Sea! (open all day) Learn about UD’s upcoming Extreme 2001 expedition to explore hydrothermal vents over a mile deep on the ocean floor. 104 Cannon Lab.
Special Lecture: New Jersey Shark Attacks of 1916 (2:00 p.m.) Dr. Richard Fernicola, author of Twelve Days of Terror, will discuss the NJ shark attacks and the natural history and behavior of shark species of the Atlantic. Book sale and signing will follow. Virden Center, Harbor Room.
Coast Day Treasure Hunt for Kids (all day) Prizes will be awarded to children, aged 5 to 13, who
successfully answer questions about the marine environment. Treasure Hunt maps will be available at the information table located at the front of Cannon Lab.
50th Anniversary of the Delaware Geological Survey (all day) Poster and bookmark giveaway. Fossil dig and display. Have your rocks identified in a rock ’n’ fossil road show. DGS Tent.
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Oceanographer? (1 – 4 p.m.) UD marine scientists will ask questions about oceanography, marine biology, marine scientists, and ocean and coastal climate. The winners will receive prizes. Room 203, Cannon Lab.
The Great Seafood Chowder Challenge (Noon – 2:45 p.m.) Taste the chowders created by three chefs associations and vote for your favorite. Tent near Seafood Pavilion.
At the Harbor
Tour New Jersey’s tall ship A. J. Meerwald
Tour the 56-foot NOAA survey ship Bay Hydrographer
Tour the 166-foot DELRIVER oil skimmer
Commercial Fishing Exhibit
Touch Tanks and Children’s Activity Table
Coast Guard Air-Sea Rescue Demonstration (2:30 p.m.)
Marine Fisheries Lecture Series
Virden Center, Harbor Room
11:15 a.m. — Atlantic Oyster Fisheries in the 21st Century
by Patrick Gaffney, UD College of Marine Studies
12: 15 p.m. — The Blue Crab Fishery
by Charles Epifanio, UD College of Marine Studies
1:00 p.m. — Flounders in Delaware
by Robin Tyler, DNREC
2:00 p.m. — The New Jersey Shark Attacks of 1916 by
Dr. Richard Fernicola, author of Twelve Days of Terror
3:00 p.m. — Movements of Sandbar Sharks in Delaware Bay
by Erin Rechisky, NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Ctr.
Coastal Hazards Lecture Series
Cannon Lab, Room 202
11:00 a.m. —The Rip Current by Wendy Carey,
UD Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service
12:30 p.m. — Hurricanes: Nature’s Greatest Storms
by Jim Eberwine, National Weather Service
1:30 p.m. — Northeasters: Delaware’s Coastal Fury
by Anthony Pratt, DNREC
3:00 p.m. — Coastal Flood Mitigation and the National
Flood Insurance Program by Michael Powell, DNREC
Virden Center, Pilot Room
11:45 a.m. — Sea Bass all’Aqua Pazza
by Charlene Zinnel, Culinary Arts Instructor,
Easton High School, Easton, MD
1 p.m. — Bites of Blackened Fish
by Mark Husong, Executive Chef, Striper Bites, Lewes
2:15 p.m. — A Taste of the Shore by Gunnar Roe and
Jimmy Snyder, The Grill Meister, Galena, MD
3:30 p.m. — Delaware Does Shrimp by Doris Hicks,
UD Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service
Ask the Oceanographer
Great Crab Race
Test your Drinking Water
Oxygen and Fish in Estuaries
Using Stable Isotopes to Trace Marine Food Webs
Crab Cake Cook-Off
Halophyte Lab Tours
Remote Sensing of the Ocean
Under the Frozen Seas of Antarctica
Physics of the Ocean
Harmful Algal Blooms
Global Observing Systems
Children’s Life Jacket Give-away
Fingerprinting and DNA
Seafood for Sale
Nautical Crafts Show
Porthole Prize Drawings