Coast Day

Coast Day often involves hands-on crafts, demonstrations and more. This year's event will be a virtual one, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the annual essay contest and an Instagram photo contest are now under way.

Both the annual fifth-grade essay contest and the Instagram photo contest for Coast Day have opened. Leading up to a virtual Coast Day on Oct. 4, the two contests ask members of the community to engage with environmental science on their own beforehand, and winners will be announced at the event and receive prize packages in the mail. Information on Coast Day and access to the virtual event will be available online at

Coast Day Essay Contest

Open to students in fifth grade, this year’s essay contest asks them to consider what trends they see in virtual data, such as that collected by aerial photography, satellite or remote sensing. Like many people, scientists have been working from home during the pandemic, and the availability of data gathered in these ways has allowed them to continue making progress on their research.

The essay contest asks students to examine one of three datasets: historical aerial photography of Cape Henlopen, weather and climate data for the region, or sea-level rise data on water levels from a NOAA tide and weather station. They then will write about what trends they see, how scientists could use the data, and what actions they could take that might affect the data in the future.

More information about the contest, access to data sets, and instructions for how to enter are available at the Coast Day website at

Instagram Photo Contest

Through the month of September, Instagram users are once again being invited to post photos taken anywhere on the Delmarva Peninsula with the #decoastday hashtag to enter a Coast Day photo contest. This year, the Coast Day theme is “Planet by Numbers.” The photo contest is looking for photos of Delmarva’s natural landscape that feature sequenced, fractal or other numeric patterns, such as those observed in certain leaves, pinecones and plant structures, insect and animal anatomies, as well as other subjects.

Complete rules and details about how to enter are available at the Coast Day website at