Cast your line for learning and reel in the fun at the University of Delaware's Coast Day festival on Sunday, October 3, at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes. Now in its 23rd year, the award-winning event showcasing marine resources and research is sponsored by the College of Marine Studies and the Sea Grant College Program.
"This year, our theme is 'Celebrate the Ocean's Wonders,' and we've developed dozens of activities to remind visitors of the sea's magnificence," says Dr. Carolyn Thoroughgood, dean and Sea Grant director. "By increasing the public's understanding of the ocean, we hope to foster greater appreciation and stewardship of marine resources."
Among this year's highlights are a special exhibit on high-tech marine research, a lecture series, a marine careers panel, the 10th annual crab cake cook-off, and a seafood chowder challenge between professional chefs' organizations.
In the special exhibit "Tooling around the Ocean," in 104 Cannon Lab, Drs. Craig Cary and George Luther will share the excitement of their expedition to hydrothermal vent sites nearly 2 miles deep in the Pacific Ocean. On display will be vent crabs, a portion of a black smoker chimney, and a unique probe that is being used to detect deep-sea bacteria.
The exhibit also will include Dr. Mohsen Badiey's underwater sound research in the Delaware Bay. He is exploring the use of a lighthouse in the bay as a remote-controlled platform for gathering environmental information. At his station, visitors will be able to hop on board the Zodiac, an inflatable boat used in Delaware Bay research.
The third component of the exhibit will focus on the use of space-age tools in marine research. Dr. Vic Klemas and his team will demonstrate how they are using satellites to monitor the invasion of the nuisance plant Phragmites australis into Delaware wetlands, aiding resource managers in their efforts to track and control the marsh invader.
The Wonders of the Ocean Lecture Series, at the Virden Center, will feature UD faculty and staff. Dr. Evelyn Maurmeyer will present "Marsh Madness: Exploring Delaware's Wondrous Wetlands." Dr. Craig Cary will highlight his latest expedition in "Taking Marine Research to New Extremes: The Deep Sea." And Marine Advisory Service specialist Joe Farrell will present "Monitoring the Water Quality of the Inland Bays with the Help of Local Citizens."
Budding marine scientists won't want to miss the Marine Careers Panel at 1 p.m. in the Virden Center. A panel of graduate students from the College of Marine Studies will talk about their educational backgrounds, research projects, and career aspirations, and answer questions from the audience.
Dozens of research demonstrations will be held throughout the day, from "Making Waves!," a children's activity highlighting how sand moves along the coastline, to the ever-popular "Great Crab Race." At the marine critter tanks near the harbor, UD students and staff will be on hand to help identify finfish and shellfish, from dogfish sharks to blue mussels, and answer questions about their biology.
Visitors who want to have their well water tested for nitrate may bring their water sample to 125B Cannon Lab for analysis. The sample should be collected in a small, clean bottle from the cold-water faucet -- if possible, from a location closest to the wellhead, such as an outside garden spigot. For results to be accurate, the sample should be refrigerated at home and transported on ice during the trip to Coast Day.
Seafood lovers won't be disappointed at Coast Day. At 11 a.m., in a tent near the Seafood Pavilion, eight contestants will begin preparing their recipes in the 10th annual crab cake cook-off. The judging will begin at noon, and the winner will be announced at 1 p.m. To commemorate the cook-off's 10th anniversary, the organizers have compiled a cookbook that includes every recipe featured in the competition over the years. Copies will be on sale at Coast Day.
Back by popular demand is the second annual Seafood Chowder Challenge -- a friendly competition between the First State Chefs' Association and the Delmarva Chefs and Cooks Association. Coast Day visitors will be invited to taste the two chowders and vote for their favorite. The "People's Choice Award" will be presented at 2:45 p.m.
Also, a variety of fresh-cooked seafood -- from buffalo shrimp to seafood pizza -- will be offered by local vendors, and seafood culinary presentations featuring salmon cakes to rockfish will be held in the Virden Center throughout the day.
In the harbor, tours will be conducted of Delaware's tall ship, the Kalmar Nyckel, and of the Delaware Bay and River Cooperative's 166-foot DELRIVER oil skimmer. At 2:30 p.m., the U.S. Coast Guard will stage an air-sea rescue.
Coast Day also will host the Delaware Marine Trades Association Boat Show. Local vendors will be on hand to display watercraft and marine equipment. Coast Guard-approved life jackets will be presented free, while supplies last, to children age 12 and under who visit the trade show area and sign a pledge to wear their life jackets whenever they're on board a boat.
For a complete schedule of activities, please pick up a program when you arrive at Coast Day. Admission is free; parking is $2. For more information, contact the UD Marine Communications Office at (302) 831-8083 or visit our Web site at www.ocean.udel.edu.
COAST DAY 1999 -- ABBREVIATED SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES
Special Exhibit: Tooling Around the Ocean (open all day). Learn about the scientific tools that UD scientists are using to explore the ocean. Find out about deep-sea probes, acoustics, and satellites. Hop on board the Zodiac, an inflatable boat used in Delaware Bay research. 104 Cannon Lab.
Hands-On Exhibit: Aquaculture (Open all day). Specialists from UD and Delaware State University will answer your questions about fish farming, ornamental ponds, and water quality. See live crawfish and tilapia. Tent at north entrance to Cannon Lab.
Marine Careers Panel (1 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.) Interested in a career in marine science or policy? Find out about the education required and the exciting career possibilities awaiting those with an interest in science and the sea. Featuring UD grad students. Virden Center, Harbor Room.
10th Annual Crab Cake Cook-Off (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) See eight contestants compete for the title of "Delaware's Best Crab Cakes." The winner receives $150 cash prize. Tent near Seafood Pavilion.
The Great Seafood Chowder Challenge (Noon - 2:45 p.m.) Taste the chowders developed by First State Chefs' Association and Delmarva Chefs and Cooks Association and cast your vote for the "People's Choice Award." Tent near Seafood Pavilion.
Research Demos/Hands-On Activities
- Making Waves: Demo of Coastal Processes
- Analysis of Nitrate in Drinking Water
- Sampling and Analyzing Water in Delaware Bay and Other Estuaries
- Viewing Plankton through a Microscope
- The Great Crab Race!
- Blue Crab Feeding
- Horseshoe Crabs: Scientists Search for an Artificial Bait
- Oxygen for Everyone
- The Ocean in the Climate System
- Navigating the World Wide Web
- Halophyte Lab Tours
- Fish Printing
- The Coral Beds of Delaware Bay
- Fisheries Research
- Smithsonian Science Project
- Ask the Fish Guy
- Slime Films
- Try Your Hand at Surf Casting!
- Marine Critter Touch Tanks
Wonders of the Ocean Lecture Series
Virden Center, Harbor Room
11:30 a.m. "Marsh Madness: Exploring Delaware's Wondrous Wetlands" by Dr. Evelyn Maurmeyer, UD College of Marine Studies
2 p.m. "Taking Marine Research to New Extremes: The Deep Sea" by Dr. Craig Cary, UD College of Marine Studies
3 p.m. "Monitoring the Water Quality of the Inland Bays with the Help of Local Citizens" by Joe Farrell, UD Sea Grant
Seafood Culinary Presentations
Virden Center, Pilot Room
11:45 a.m. "Cooking Fish and Shellfish with Herbs" by Linda LaPlante-Beatty, herbal educator from Lewes, Del.
1 p.m. "Salmon Cakes Extraordinaire" by Rodger C. Moore, Executive Sous Chef, Piane Catering, Wilmington, Del.
2:15 p.m. "New Wave Oyster Chowder and Grilled Seafood" by Mark Steele, Executive Chef, Lamp Post Restaurant, Lewes, Del.
3:30 p.m. "Chesapeake Bay Seafood -- Featuring Rockfish and Blue Crabs" by John C. Struzik, Certified Executive Chef, Wilmington, Del.
Ship Tours & Related Activities
Tour the following vessels in our harbor:
- 47-foot U.S. Coast Guard life boat
- 166-foot DELRIVER oil skimmer
- Delaware's tall ship, Kalmar Nyckel
Air-Sea Rescue - 2:30 p.m., Harbor
Delaware Marine Trades Association Boat Show and Children's Life Jacket Giveaway (while supplies last) Near Seafood Pavilion (starts at 11 a.m.)
Ongoing Activities: Environmental exhibits, film series, children's activities, seafood retailers (seafood pizza, seafood fajitas, Buffalo shrimp, fish & chips, conch chowder, crab cake sandwiches, crab chowder, crab bisque, live lobsters), food vendors, nautical crafts show, musical entertainment ("Big Hat, No Cattle"), porthole prize drawings, and more! Be sure to pick up a free program at Coast Day!