41st Coast Day a Success

Oct. 17, 2018

A family in a lab at Coast Day

Article by Adam Thomas

An unseasonably warm October Sunday brought flocks of visitors to the University of Delaware’s Lewes campus to learn all about the research and community outreach taking place at the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment and the Delaware Sea Grant College program as part of UD’s 41st Coast Day event.

The theme of this year’s event was “Science Serving Coastal Communities” and faculty, staff and students were on hand to explain to visitors how they are improving the understanding of ocean and coastal environments and serving Delaware communities.

Coast Day is the only day of the year the Robotic Discovery Laboratories are open to the public. In activities in the lab this year, kids could build drones out of Legos, and everyone had a chance to see the lab’s autonomous underwater vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Outside, a band played live music as visitors roamed around the tents, looking at booths set up from exhibitors such as the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Delaware chapter of the Sierra Club and UD’s Center for Environmental Monitoring and Analysis.  

A flycasting demonstration took place in the back of Cannon Lab, and the always popular marine critter touch tanks bustled with activity as visitors got to touch horseshoe crabs and dogfish sharks.

In addition, visitors were able to take ship tours of UD’s Research Vessel Joanne Daiber, the Delaware State Police’s Marine One, and the United States Army Corps of Engineer’s Survey Vessel H.R. Spies.

Competition winners

Winners were announced for Coast Day’s 5th Grade Essay Writing contest with Cooper Nathan taking home first place for his essay “Help Keep Our Beaches Clean.”

The essay focused on reasons to preserve his favorite coastal habitat, the Atlantic Ocean.

“I wrote about the basic stuff like not littering on the beach and making sure not to use the beach as a garbage can,” said Nathan. “Then I also talked about the use of plastic and how many plastic straws they found last year in a one-day beach cleanup.”

Jacquie Kisiel, Cooper’s teacher at Rehoboth Elementary, said that the students in her classroom always get inspired to help the environment, especially when it comes to thinking up what to write about for the essay contest.

“Kids feel they can make a difference and that transfers into the essay contest,” said Kisiel, who noted that Cooper is not alone in being a member of the next generation who is interested in getting rid of plastic straws, as students in her classroom helped the Cape Henlopen School District go completely straw less—though straws are available upon request.

“Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming when you think about everything you can do for the environment so this is one tangible thing that they can do,” said Kisiel. “It’s a combined effort, if we can start with kids being able to take control locally, hopefully it can go globally.”

The always popular Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off saw Kristie Schley take home first prize for her “Veni Vidi Vici Crab Cakes” (published at the end of this story). Marty Hayes took home second place for his “Woo-Hoo Wasabi Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes" and Ray Giangeruso got third place for his “Chesapeake & Maine Bay Crab Cakes.”

Those interested can take a piece of the delicious crab cake recipes home with them can buy a Coast Day cookbook that includes more than 25 years of winning recipes for $15 by calling 302-831-8083.

Chef Ray Giangeruso won the Seafood Chowder Challenge for his Chesapeake and Maine’s Clam Chowder dish.

This year, Coast Day also played host to an oyster shucking contest. James Frazier of Rehoboth Beach won the first round, beating out all six contestants and taking home a $50 prize.

The top three contestants then participated in a second round and Will Dorey of Millsboro, DE, took home the $250 first prize. Frazier got second prize and $200, and David Duzak, of Landenberg, PA, came in third and received $100.

Veni Vidi Vici Crab Cakes
Kristie Schley, Severna Park, MD   FIRST PLACE
2 pounds lump crab meat
3 cloves garlic, peeled, divided
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
3 ¼ cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
½ cup mayonnaise
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice, divided

½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups day old bread, cubed
8 medium eggs
Zest of medium lemon
¼ flat leaf parsley, chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
6 romaine heart leaves
Mince 1 clove of garlic and place in a small jar.  Add in anchovy paste, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ½ tablespoon lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.  Shake to combine.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Cut remaining 2 gloves of garlic into quarters and add to hot oil.  Cook stirring until garlic is fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove cloves from pan.  Add bread to pan and cook, turning frequently until lightly brown.  Remove bread cubes from oil and allow to cool. When bread cubes are cool, place in a food processor and pulse until a bread crumb consistency.

Add 2 eggs to a large bowl and beat lightly.  Stir in reserved Caeser dressing bread crumb mixture, lemon zest and parsley.  Gently fold in crab meat and chill for ½ hour.  Form into 6 slightly flattened cakes. Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add crab cakes and fry until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes per side.

For each frico egg, heat a 6-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add ½ cup Parmesan cheese.  When cheese bubbles and melts, add egg to center, cover pan and cook egg to soft.  Repeat with remaining 5 eggs.  Sprinkle each egg with salt and remaining pepper.  Arrange romaine leaves on a large platter.  Place crab cakes on leaves and top each with a frico egg.  Squeeze remaining lemon juice over each serving.