Cyclops 1 to explore Coast Day at U.D. Lewes Campus Sunday


Coastal Point • File Photos: Photographs from last year’s event show hand-tonging for oysters, the live tank and the advantages of pulleys.Coastal Point • File Photos: Photographs from last year’s event show hand-tonging for oysters, the live tank and the advantages of pulleys.Editor's Note: This event has been cancelled for this year, due to inclement weather.

All eyes will be on Cyclops at the 39th annual Coast Day in Lewes on Sunday.

Known for always bringing its fair share of nautical notoriety at the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean & Environment and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, this year’s event will feature Cyclops 1 — a five-person submersible capable of traveling to depths of 500 feet.

“We’re really excited,” said Katy O’Connell, director of Environmental Public Education, of the chance to showcase Cyclops 1 at Coast Day. “It’ll be out of the water so folks can see one of these up close.”

While Cyclops 1 may steal the show and certainly headlines its “Discoveries on land, in the air and at sea” theme, the event will also still feature some of the usual favorites, including marine animal touch tanks, ship tours, seafood cooking contests, educational exhibits, underwater robotics and even a LEGO model ship display.

“Every year there’s a different theme, but every year there are the traditional favorite things,” explained O’Connell. “So much is going on at Coast Day that there’s really a little bit for everyone. We’ve even got folks that come just for the seafood.”

But even fan-favorites, such as the elaborate LEGO ships, are about something more than just good old-fashioned fun as, like every year, the events and displays are meant to create awareness and spark curiosity.

O’Connell noted “25 percent of U.S. population lives close to the coast. It’s a place where a lot of people are attracted to, but it’s still a place where we have a lot of environmental challenges. Our goal is to not only to inspire people to care, but to show them what we’re doing to help and encourage them to do the same.”

Coast Day, held at the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., is a rain-or-shine event and free for the public. For more information, visit decoastday.org. You can also follow the event on social media by using the hashtag #DECoastDay.