Our Coast Is The Most!

by Dave on October 1, 2010

photo courtesy University of Delaware

Sometimes you just have to stop and celebrate our great natural wonder – The Delaware Coast. And that’s just what will take place in Lewes this weekend.

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 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.

But before the Coast Day festivities kick off, the Lewes Chamber of Commerce-sponsored “Boast The Coast” event takes place in Lewes on Saturday with maritime-themed activities throughout the day and into the evening. The Boast the Coast events in 1812 Park and at the City Dock begin at 11 a.m.

Other activities including the Lewes Historical Society Craft Show and the Lewes in Bloom Fall Plant Sale begin at 9 a.m. and the Historic District Merchants’ Fall Sidewalk Sale begins at 10 a.m. The Lighted Boat Parade culminates the day’s activities at dusk on the canal.

The free boat tours at the City Dock beginning at 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. include New Jersey’s Tall Ship, the AJ Meerwald and the City of Lewes fireboat. The AJ Meerwald returns to Lewes from southern New Jersey. Built in 1928, she was restored by the Bayshore Discovery Project which launched her as an educational vessel in 1996. The New Jersey state legislature named her as the state’s official tall ship in 1998. She will be participating as an entrant in the Lighted Boat Parade

Other activities associated with the event include a Seafood Tasting at 1812 Park featuring specialties priced individually prepared by The Wharf Restaurant, Irish Eyes Pub & Restaurant and Jerry’s Seafood. Also at 1812 Park, the Family Fun Tent will feature the entertaining Flumpa the Tree Frog musical show and Chuckles the Clown’s pirate-themed magic show. The Lewes Historical Society’s Maritime History Museum located in the Cannonball House also will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for free tours of their recently renovated exhibit space. The Lightship Overfalls has returned to her new berth in the Canalfront Park on Front Street and will be open for free tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A true weekend of excitement awaits your eyes, ears and especially your taste buds at this years Coast Day and Boast The Coast celebrations. Enjoy!

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