VIMS hosts ninth annual Marine Science Day Saturday

by Bill Nachman - Posted on May 18, 2011 - 03:17 PM

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science campus at Gloucester Point will be abuzz with free activities from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday during the school’s ninth annual Marine Science Day.

This is VIMS’s annual open house, said Susan Maples, public outreach coordinator; more than 2,000 people attended last spring’s event.

The event, which will be held rain or shine, will give the public a "behind-the-scenes look at how VIMS research in Chesapeake Bay and around the world helps protect and restore marine ecosystems," Maples said.

A perennial favorite at the event is the Parade of Marine Life, said David Malmquist, director of communications. Children and adults from throughout the region dress up in handmade creature costumes such as jellyfish, dolphins and blue crabs.

VIMS honors a different animal each year, with this year’s Marine Science Day spotlighting the seahorse. Maples said that several activities will feature the seahorse, including a "seahorse scramble" and a "seahorse search."

Malmquist said a new activity this year will be a "Making Waves" photo booth that will allow visitors to picture themselves on a surfboard atop a wave—an image donated by world-renowned Hawaiian photographer Clark Little. VIMS scientists will provide information on the science of waves and their importance in moving marine sediments.