Get ready to celebrate the ocean at the University of Delaware’s 32nd annual Coast Day, to be held Sunday, Oct. 5, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event, which is sponsored by the College of Marine and Earth Studies (CMES) and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, will take place rain or shine at UD’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes. Admission and parking are free.
This year’s theme, “Coastal Challenges — Coastal Solutions,” will show visitors how UD researchers are tackling many of the region’s and the world’s toughest environmental issues. A special exhibit centered on this theme will demonstrate how guests can help solve coastal challenges in their everyday lives.
“Delaware has so many coastal resources,” said Nancy Targett, dean of CMES and Delaware Sea Grant director. “This event is an opportunity for the public to learn about UD’s research related to those resources and the challenges we face in making sure they’re healthy and available for future generations.”
In addition to meeting scientists eager to share their work through presentations and demonstrations, Coast Day guests will be able to tour ships, try hands-on activities, and see marine animals up close at touch tanks. They also will be able to attend lectures that which cover topics such as diving adventures with underwater robots and marine mammals and sea turtles of the Delaware coast.
The day also will include a special ceremony recognizing the 2008 Governor’s Marine and Aquatic Science Teacher of the Year and the winners of the Fifth-Grade Student Essay Contest, which awards students and teachers who demonstrate coastal awareness throughout the state. The ceremony also will pay special tribute to Gov. Ruth Ann Minner for her longtime support of Coast Day and Delaware Sea Grant.
Activities for children include a treasure hunt that allows them to search for answers to questions about the environment and Coast Day exhibits. Children will especially love to take part in the crab races, where they can compete against marine scientists to see who has the best bait. They also can enjoy a magic show — back by popular demand — that teaches them all about chemistry.
The schedule also includes favorite activities from years past. Seafood lovers can watch contestants compete in the 19th annual Crab Cake Cook-Off in hopes of making “Delaware's Best Crab Cakes” and vote for their favorite seafood chowder in the annual Seafood Chowder Challenge — a friendly competition between two local chefs’ associations. They can attend a variety of seminars that will present innovative ways to prepare seafood, including one of this year’s features, seafood enchiladas. In addition, a variety of seafood and non-seafood items will be available for purchase.
Whether they’re checking out the seafood events or reading the event program, visitors will be sure to notice one exciting change to Coast Day — it’s become more environmentally friendly. Plates, cups, napkins, and utensils from the seafood areas will be composted for use on campus landscaping, extra bike racks will be available for guests who chose to pedal to the event, eco-friendly reusable bags will be for sale, and this year’s program is printed using trees from forests managed in an environmentally friendly manner. Additionally, the UD Tent will highlight some of the work being done by researchers to ensure a greener future.
For more information about Coast Day, visit www.deseagrant.org/coastday or call 302-831-8083. Additionally, the full lineup will be available through the event program, which will be posted on the above web site beginning Sept. 22.
To learn more about the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, visit www.deseagrant.org.
For more about CMES, visit www.ocean.udel.edu.