Coast Day This Sunday In Lewes

by Dave on September 28, 2010

photo courtesy University of Delaware

Coast Day has become a cherished Delaware tradition by providing opportunities to experience the wonders of the ocean and the latest marine research in a fun, family-friendly format. This year’s event, to be held Sunday, Oct. 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., promises as much excitement as ever.

A free event now in its 34th 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 because it gives us the perfect opportunity to educate thousands of people about the importance of the marine and coastal environment and the research we’re doing related to it,” said Nancy Targett, CEOE dean and Delaware Sea Grant director.

In keeping with this year’s theme, “Making the Most of Our Coast,” Targett will open the event with a special ceremony recognizing the winners of video and essay competitions for Delaware school kids on that topic. The ceremony also will include the dedication of signage for the Lewes campus’ new 2-megawatt wind turbine.

Other activities focused on this year’s theme will be those located in the new Energy Tent and in Cannon Laboratory Room 104, which will inform visitors all about alternative energy and the new wind turbine. Several of the day’s talks given by UD scientists and guest lecturers will cover topics including oil spills and the effects of climate change on Delaware Bay.

Other fun activities for Coast Day guests will include touring ships in the harbor — UD’s 146-foot research vessel Hugh R. Sharp will be available — and seeing an underwater research robot in action. Visitors also will be able to tour the campus’ native plant garden and new demonstration rain garden.

Throughout Coast Day, children of all ages will find something fun that captures their imagination. Activities for kids will 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.

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.

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; 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.

Coast Day is supported by Gamesa Corp., Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, OSG Ship Management Inc., PNC Bank, UTEC Survey Inc., and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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 on the Coast Day website Monday, Sept. 20.

For more about CEOE, visit www.ceoe.udel.edu. To learn more about Delaware Sea Grant, visit www.deseagrant.org.

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