DE's Coast Day Works To Build Coastal Resilient Communities - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

DE's Coast Day Works To Build Coastal Resilient Communities

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LEWES, Del. - "Building Coastal Resilient Communities" was the theme for the 37th Coast Day, a day set aside every year to learn about Delaware's Waterways.  Going off the idea of "building," a room of ships built out of Legos...all to make some big concepts, like hurricane prep and sea level rise, easy for even the smallest scientists to digest.

"Children get just as scared if not more so than the adults in their homes when it comes to preparing for storms, so by having some of those hands-on activities, it helps to bring it down to their level," explains Katy O'Connell, one of the Coast Day organizers.

Nick Discosmo, a grad student at the University of Delaware's Lewes campus, demonstrates how storm waves can erode local beaches, using water, plastic beads for sand, and two toy versions of a boy and a girl sitting in the sand.

"This is a miniature wave flume and what we're using it for is erosion and accretion of beaches," he says.  As the waves ebb and flow, they pull the plastic beads away from the "shore," drawing the toy couple further into the ocean.  Then Nick says, "when we kill the waves, and it's more calm, if you watch you can actually see the beach build up."

While it might be fun to look, for many at Coast Day, it's even better to touch.  That's why the Touch Tank, toward the back of campus was packed.

Karen Williams and her young son Chase came to Coast Day from Pennsylvania.  A former Lewes resident, Williams says she couldn't pass up the chance to bring Chase to see the Touch Tank.

Rob Kernehan, Touch Tank Supervisor, says letting the children (and adults) see and touch the marine life up close, gives them a greater appreciation for the creatures "the more that kids become friends, acclimated to marine life like this, increases the probability that when they're my age, they're going to be conserving the environment."

For the kids, like Chase, it was a little more simple, I asked "do you like touching the fish?" Chase's response, "yeah." "Why?" I asked.  Chase, "because I do."

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