Coast Day Essay Contest asks how to positively impact coastal areas

Delaware Sea Grant and the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean & Environment (CEOE) are welcoming fifth-grade students from across the state to participate in the annual Coast Day essay contest.

This year’s prompt asks students to identify their favorite coastal place in Delaware — be it the bayshore, beach, a pond or a creek, among others — and explain how that area has changed or is changing, and what they as individuals can do to have a positive impact on the future of that area.

Coast Day, CEOE and Delaware Sea Grant’s celebration of the sea, attracts thousands of attendees every year. This year’s Coast Day event will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 6, at UD’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes.

Participants can wander through tents featuring educational exhibits, tour research labs, sample some of the region’s best seafood, and develop a deeper appreciation for the sea and marine stewardship.

Coast Day’s theme for 2019 is “A Ripple through Time.” In conjunction with the theme, Delaware Sea Grant and CEOE want students to reflect on what type of changes have happened to their favorite coastal place in the past, what they think it will look like in the future and how their actions impact what this place could look like.

Essays must be postmarked or hand-delivered before Friday, Sept. 20.

The essay, which can be no longer than 400 words, must be thoroughly researched, representatives noted, adding that there are many opportunities for students to learn about Delaware’s terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. Information on topic ideas can be found in schools, at local libraries, online, through UD facilitated resources, and even by venturing outdoors. There are also materials for inspiration and resources included with the official rules, available at

Essay contest winners will be recognized at 11:30 a.m. during the Coast Day Welcome Ceremony on the porch of Cannon Lab. (In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in Cannon Lab, Room 203.)

Bookstore gift cards in the amounts of $100, $75 and $50 will be awarded for first through third places, with honorable mentions also being recognized. Teachers of the winning students will receive classroom resources.

Entries should include the student’s name, teacher’s name, school name and word count on each entry. They can be mailed to Coast Day Essay Contest, Delaware Sea Grant – Marine Advisory Service, 700 Pilottown Rd., Lewes, DE 19958. For more information, call David Christopher at (302) 645-4193 or email