Thousands visited UD’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes for the 35th annual Coast Day event.

Coast Day 2011

Thousands visit UD's Hugh R. Sharp Campus to celebrate Delaware's coast


11:28 a.m., Oct. 11, 2011--The promise of seafood, lectures, ship tours, kids’ activities and science demonstrations drew thousands of people to the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus for Coast Day. The event, sponsored by UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, was held Sunday, Oct. 2.

“It was delightful to see so many people having fun while they learned about the work we do,” said Nancy Targett, CEOE dean and Delaware Sea Grant director.

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A 35-year tradition, Coast Day lets visitors learn more about the state’s ocean and coastal resources as well as the work of CEOE researchers, Delaware Sea Grant, and their many partners. 

Across the campus, visitors clamored at the marine critter touch tanks, boarded UD’s research vessel Hugh R. Sharp, sampled seafood, and attended lectures on everything from weather and hurricanes to UD’s wind turbine.

At the event’s kick-off ceremony, Targett, along with U.S. Senator Tom Carper, UD President Patrick Harker, Lewes Mayor Jim Ford and National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read congratulated the winners of two Coast Day contests for Delaware school kids. Both contests centered on this year’s Coast Day theme: “It’s About You.”

The 2011 Fifth-Grade Essay Contest Winner was Shea Sweeney, a student in Marilyn Vallejo’s class at St. Ann School in Wilmington. Saleh Hamad of Caesar Rodney High School in Camden, Del., won the High School Video Contest. His teacher is Mary Stokes.

Throughout the day, crowds of hungry visitors swarmed the seafood competitions for a chance to taste contestants’ creations. “Carl’s Stuffed Crab Cake” by Carl Zampini of Newark, Del., took first prize in the Crab Cake Cook-Off. 

The annual Chowder Challenge face-off gave visitors a chance to vote for their favorite soup after a 2-ounce taste test. Once the votes were tallied, the Delmarva Chefs and Cooks Association took first prize over the First State Chefs Association. Jennifer Courville and Kahdeja Pirkle, both seniors in the Parkside High School Culinary Arts Program in Salisbury, Md., concocted the winning chowder recipe.

For more information about Coast Day, which will take place next year on Sunday, Oct. 7, visit or call 302-831-8083.

To learn more about the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, visit For more about CEOE, visit

Photos by Lisa Tossey and Sara Ohrel

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