Coast Day has become a cherished Delaware tradition that provides opportunities to experience the wonders of the ocean and the latest environmental research in a fun, family-friendly format. This year’s event, to be held Sunday, Oct. 2 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., promises as much excitement as ever.
A free event now in its 35th year, Coast Day is held rain or shine at the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes. It is sponsored by the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program.
“We look forward to Coast Day every year,” said Nancy Targett, CEOE dean and Delaware Sea Grant director. “It’s fun for us and it gives thousands of people the perfect opportunity to learn about the importance of the marine and coastal environment and the research we’re doing related to it.”
In keeping with this year’s theme, “Coast Day — It’s About You,” the event will showcase how the efforts of UD faculty, staff, and students benefit the citizens of the state and nation.
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 by experts on topics such as UD’s wind turbine, local weather, and marine transportation, as well as a special presentation by the director of the National Hurricane Center. And they can attend a special ceremony recognizing the winners of two Coast Day competitions for Delaware students.
Throughout Coast Day, children of all ages will find fun activities to capture their attention. A treasure hunt will allow them to search for answers to questions about the environment. Youngsters can also meet marine animals such as horseshoe crabs at the critter touch tanks. A chemical magic show is sure to dazzle.
The schedule also includes plenty of attractions for seafood lovers. In addition to the beloved Crab Cake Cook-Off and Chowder Challenge competitions, visitors can attend seminars presenting innovative ways to prepare seafood, watch ice sculptures of marine animals being made, and purchase seafood.
Those wanting to relax while sampling food sold by more than twenty food vendors may wish to take in a special 12:30 p.m. performance by the Northern Neck Chantey Singers. Working to preserve an important part of maritime history, their songs represent the men who worked on the seas, and harken back to the days before machinery replaced manual labor on menhaden fishing boats. The popular local band Big Hat, No Cattle will also provide musical entertainment throughout the day.
In keeping with its emphasis on the environment, Coast Day is a “green” event. Recycling stations will be available and many food vendors will provide compostable plates, cups, napkins, and utensils that guests can place in special bins provided throughout the campus. In addition, bike racks will be available for guests who choose to pedal to the event, eco-friendly reusable bags will be for sale, the event program will be printed on paper from forests managed in an environmentally friendly manner, and UD’s 2-megawatt wind turbine is expected to provide the electricity needed for the event.
Coast Day is supported by DuPont Clear into the Future, Gamesa Corp., NRG Bluewater Wind, OSG Ship Management Inc., UTEC Survey Inc., Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, WMDT—CW-3, Lewes Historical Society, Lewes Chamber of Commerce, PNC Bank, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
While Coast Day parking and admission are free, vendors will be selling food and other items. There is no ATM on the campus grounds.
For more information about Coast Day, visit www.decoastday.org or call 302-831-8083. Additionally, the full event program will be available to view on the Coast Day website Tuesday, Sept. 20.
For more about CEOE, visit www.ceoe.udel.edu. To learn more about Delaware Sea Grant, visit www.deseagrant.org.