Cape Gazette

Coast Day events educate and entertain

By Deny Howeth | Oct 14, 2013
Deniz Eastman, 5, of Newark stares in awe of what Legos can create.

Celebrating Delaware's ocean and coastal resources, Coast Day is in its 37th year.  The annual event, held Oct. 6 in Lewes, is sponsored by the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean and Environment Research and Delaware Sea Grant College Program.  For more information about the programs or the event, go to

This year's highlights were the Teach Fleet, built by Commodore Wilbert McKinley to promote careers in science, technology, engineering and math. He repurposes Legos and builds ships to encourage environmental awareness and stewardship.

The popular oyster shucking contest is a new event, while the touch tanks and tours of facilities remain a popular attraction. Overflow capacity crowds attended Focus on the Coast lectures.


Commodore Wilbert McKinley, former ship designer, is responsible for the education outreach program that uses recycled Legos to promote and encourage environmental awareness. Each ship is named after a person who has made a contribution to the program. More information is available at (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
A blue ship called auto liners was named for the inventor of Thermo King refrigerated trucks, Frederick McKinley Jones. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
The Chemical Magician show used fun techniques to educate his audience about science. Here he makes a Bananahammer by freezing a banana using liquid nitrogen after which he will hammer a nail into wood. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
The Chemical Magician show was packed with children and adults (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Fish print painted T-shirts are always a favorite. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Devon Schera, 8, paints a skate before applying it to his T-shirt. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
A collection of sea treasures from the Cape Region. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
The touch tank is a popular stop. Peggy McCloskey with Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation shares information about a skate with (l-r) Tim Merrill, Julietta Claessens, Timothy Claessens, Luc Claessens and Henry Merrill. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Karah Herbert gets a little scared by one of the touch tank inhabitants. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Dan Leathers discusses tropical systems in the Mid-Atlantic and Superstorm Sandy in front of an overflow crowd. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Shown (l-r) Austin Ortel, Amber Lee Ortel, Brianna Watts Alayna Ortel and Coen Watts watch Thomas Watts as he shucks oysters in the oyster shucking contest. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Oyster shuckers in a row are (l-r) Rick Slagle, James Frazier, Thomas Watts. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Paul Arena goes for it in the first heat of oyster shucking. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Allie Maurer uses a pulley system with knots to haul a cement block single handed. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Delaware Bay and River Cooperative expert Keith Lee talks about equipment used during oil spills and techniques  for absorbing and containing them aboard the Oil Spill Response Vehicle. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Kieran Allen looks at samples through a digital microscope. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Samples of the Winogradsky self-sustaining column of a microbial system. Everyone was encouraged to create one and take it home to watch it live. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Jacob Gabbard searches for horseshoe crab eggs in a specimen tube. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Doug Miller, assistant professor, shares the habitat and conditions that ocean living animals must endure. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Riley Sammons takes a close look at  a crab. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
The Teach Fleet room had a nonstop flow of guests walking through in awe and meeting the creator. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Cassie Byam stopped by to pick up chowder for her dad. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Corey Schab, owner of L Town Surf and Earth, creates clothing made from organic cotton or a blend of recycled fabric. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
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