Coast Day 2020 will move to a virtual format this year

LEWES — The Delaware Sea Grant College Program at the University of Delaware invites people interested in learning more about coastal scientific research and how Sea Grant engages with the community in a meaningful way to join the first virtual Coast Day taking place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4.

Since 1976, UD’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment and Delaware Sea Grant have held the event at UD’s Lewes Campus but this year, because of COVID-19, the event will be held online.

Despite being virtual, Coast Day will still feature a number of interactive elements, from at-home science demos to craft projects for families to complete and share on social media. Learn more about the projects at www.deseagrant.org/coastdaycreate including where kits for some of the projects can be picked up the week before the event.

Coast Day will also have presentations that follow two tracks: an Exploration Track and an Investigation Track. The Exploration Track is sponsored by the Bureau of Ocean, Energy Management (BOEM) and the Investigation Track is sponsored by the Delaware Electric Municipal Corporation (DEMEC).

The Exploration Track includes talks for families and teachers, follow-along activities and information about possible career fields in marine science with topics such as Working on the Ocean, Pathways in Marine Science, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Marine Science: A Perspective from NSF.

The Investigation Track will highlight marine science research and ways people can get involved, with topics including Cleaning Up Ghost Pots in the Inland Bays; Oysters, from Rehoboth Bay to Raw Bar; and Assessing Microplastics in the Delaware Bay.

Attending sessions on Coast Day and seeing participants’ completed projects will require registration. Registration and more information is available at www.deseagrant.org/coast-day-registration.

The theme of Coast Day 2020 is Planet by Numbers and the popular essay and photo contests follow this theme.

The Fifth Grade Essay Contest asks participants to write about a virtual data set and what the dataset shows, what trends they see, how scientists or communities could use these data, and what actions the student could take that would influence these data in the future.

The photo contest asks participants to take pictures of Delmarva’s natural landscape that feature sequenced, fractal, or other numeric patterns, such as those observed in certain leaves, pine cones and plant structures, insect and animal anatomies, as well as other subjects.

For more information and to stay up to date on a list of speakers, visit the Coast Day website at www.deseagrant.org/coast-day.