Fifth-grade Coast Day essay contest entries due Sept. 20

September 8, 2019

Delaware Sea Grant and the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment invite 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 it in the future.

A Ripple Through Time is Coast Day’s 2019 theme, and 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.

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

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

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. 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 simply by venturing outdoors. To see materials for inspiration and resources included with the official rules, go to

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, 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, second and third place, with honorable mentions also being recognized. Teachers of the winning students will receive classroom resources.

The student’s name, teacher’s name, school name, and word count must be included on each entry.

Mail entries to Coast Day Essay Contest, Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service, 700 Pilottown Road, Lewes, DE 19958.

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