The University of Delaware’s 33rd annual Coast Day promises seafood fans, beach lovers, and anyone interested in the wonders of the sea an opportunity to connect with Delaware’s marine and coastal resources. The free, family-friendly event will take place Sunday, Oct. 4, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine, at UD’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Del.
This year’s event, which is sponsored by the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, focuses on “Climate Change and Our Coast.”
“Not only is Coast Day a wonderful opportunity for the public to learn about the variety of activities our faculty, staff, and students are working on to help tackle one of the planet’s toughest environmental issues,” said Nancy Targett, dean of CEOE and Delaware Sea Grant director, “but it also is a chance for visitors to see how they themselves can tackle issues related to climate change and make a difference.”
In addition to meeting scientists eager to share their work through presentations and demonstrations, Coast Day guests will be able to try hands-on activities and tour ships — including UD’s state-of-the-art research vessel Hugh R. Sharp. They will be able to attend lectures that cover topics such as underwater robots used to study the ocean’s depths. And they can attend a special ceremony recognizing the winners of two Coast Day competitions for Delaware school kids.
Throughout Coast Day, children of all ages will find something fun that captures their attention. Activities for kids include a treasure hunt that allows them to search for answers to questions about the environment as well as the opportunity to meet marine animals such as horseshoe crabs at the critter touch tanks. They also can enjoy a magic show, which dazzles audience members with cool tricks that teach them all about chemistry.
The schedule also includes plenty of attractions for seafood lovers. Visitors can watch contestants compete in the 20th 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, spicy gumbo-laya. 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 notice that Coast Day organizers have made the event 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 paper from forests managed in an environmentally friendly manner.
For more information about Coast Day, visit www.decoastday.org 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. 18.
For more about CEOE, visit www.ceoe.udel.edu. To learn more about Delaware Sea Grant, visit www.deseagrant.org.