Coast Day contests ask students why they love their coast

Entries for the 2011 Coast Day essay and video contests are now being accepted, based on this year’s theme, “It’s About You!”

The contests are designed to spark students’ interest in marine environments while teaching them how to research a topic and use that information to write an essay or produce a video.

Contest winners will receive prizes and recognition at this year's Coast Day, which will be held on Sunday, Oct. 2, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Del.

Essay Contest

Entries for the Coast Day Essay Contest, which is open to any fifth grader in Delaware, will be accepted until Monday, Sept. 19.

The top three winning essayists will receive bookstore gift cards valued at $100 for first prize, $75 for second prize, and $50 for third prize. The teachers of the winning students will receive gift cards for resource materials for use in their classrooms.

"The Coast Day essay was a required assignment for my fifth grade classes,” said Bonnie Reidy, fifth-grade teacher at William Henry Middle School, in Dover, Del. Her student, Emily Cook, took first prize in the 2010 essay contest on the theme of “Making the Most of Our Coast.”

“After several class discussions students generated questions for which they sought answers, then researched the Delaware coast to seek their answers and understand the impact we have on the environment,” Reidy said. “Their final essays expressed their concerns for the future and ideas that could preserve our Delaware coast."

Video Contest

Delaware high school students are also invited to share their love of the coast and what they do to conserve it by entering the Coast Day Video Contest. The contest, which is in its third year, is open to any high school student in Delaware who is enrolled in 9th – 12th grade as of the 2011-12 academic year.

The video contest is based on the same theme, and entrants are asked to submit a short video that may be an animation, photo slide show, or live action.

Videos will be featured on the Coast Day website and Delaware Sea Grant College Program’s YouTube channel. The winning entry will receive a compact HD video camcorder, while runners-up will receive camera store gift cards valued at $100 for second prize and $50 for third prize.

Winning students and their teachers in both Coast Day contests also will be recognized at Coast Day and through news releases to the media.

Coast Day, an annual educational festival and showcase for Delaware's rich marine resources, is held on the first Sunday in October at UD’s Lewes campus. Sponsored by UD's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) and Delaware Sea Grant, Coast Day attracts more than 10,000 visitors and has won state and national awards for its efforts to promote environmental education and stewardship.

Essay contest entries, which will be considered only if they are postmarked by Sept. 19, conform to contest rules, and are under 400 words in length, should be sent to:

Coast Day Essay Contest
Delaware Sea Grant – Marine Advisory Service
700 Pilottown Rd
Lewes, DE 19958

Video contest entries, which will be considered only if they are postmarked by Sept. 16, conform to contest rules, and are under two minutes in length, should be sent to:

Coast Day Video Contest
Marine Public Education Office
222 South Chapel St., Room 103
Newark, DE 19716-3530

For a complete list of contest rules and to learn more about Coast Day, visit

For more information, contact Lisa Tossey at 302-831-8175 or

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

Page Updated on August 23, 2011