The Coastal Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources invites students, teachers and the public to Virtual CoastFest 2020, being held Wednesday, Sept. 30, through Friday, Oct. 2, at www.CoastalGaDNR.org/CoastFest.
While in-person CoastFest will not be held due to COVID-19, the Division will offer a series of live-streamed events highlighting its programs all three days at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m each day. Virtual attendees will have the opportunity to interact with Division staff and ask questions about how they conserve Georgia’s coastal resources for present and future generations.
“For 26 years, we’ve looked forward to meeting our friends and neighbors from across the region at CoastFest,” said Tyler Jones, the Division’s CoastFest coordinator. “We’ve had to get creative to work around COVID-19 this year, and we’re excited to offer a virtual way to continue that tradition and provide an opportunity to peel back the curtain and show everyone what we do at Coastal Resources Division.”
Live-stream topics on Wednesday, Sept. 30:
- 9:30 a.m.: “All Aboard the R/V Anna: A look at the Division’s 60-foot shrimping vessel and the fisheries management work conducted aboard.”
- 11 a.m.: “One Fish, Two Fish, Old Fish, New Fish: Discover how biologists and citizen scientists team up to better understand coastal fish populations.”
- 2 p.m.: “The Shoreline Comes Alive: Learn what local communities and individuals are doing to protect property and restore wetland ecosystems.”
Thursday, Oct. 1:
- 9:30 a.m. “Our Changing Beaches: Beaches are constantly shifting, impacted by both gentle and tumultuous processes. Find out how the processes work and how people can adapt.”
- 11 a.m. “Safe to Swim: Educate yourself on beach water quality, and how the Division partners with other agencies to keep the public safe.”
- 2 p.m.: “Building Homes for Fish: Dive deep with our marine biologists to learn how the Division is building artificial reefs to create essential fish habitat.”
Friday, Oct. 2:
- 9:30 a.m.: “Going Green for Our Future: Learn how you can capture rainwater and prevent pollution runoff in your backyard and community.”
- 11 a.m.: “Fishing Basics 101: Grab your fishing pole and join our marine biologists as they show you how to fish along the Georgia coast, including knot tying, types of bait and techniques.”
- 2 p.m.: “Touch Tanks Live: Tune in live as we show off some of the coolest creatures that swim in our estuarine environment, and ask our biologists questions.”
The CoastFest Art Contest, featuring art from students across the region, will still be held as usual, and the artwork will be on display at the Marshes of Glynn Library on Gloucester Street in Brunswick from Tuesday, Oct. 6, though Tuesday, Oct. 13. Prizes and ribbons will be awarded as in the past. This year’s art contest theme is “Our Marvelous Marshes,” and students are encouraged to submit art that highlights the estuarine ecosystem that makes the Georgia coast so unique. The winner of the 2020 CoastFest Art Contest will have his or her art featured on the 2021 CoastFest T-Shirt.
New this year, the Division is holding an essay writing contest. Students from elementary, middle and high school are encouraged to write a 400-500 word short essay from the prompt: "What makes the Georgia Coast unique and what did I learn about it at Virtual CoastFest 2020?" First, second and third place awards will be given to Georgia students in elementary, middle and high school. Schools may submit their top five essays for judging by the Division’s staff and its partners in conservation. Teacher, homeschooling parents and students can find more information, including submission guidelines and deadlines, at www.CoastalGaDNR.org/CoastFestEssay.
Winners of both the art and essay contests will be announced Oct. 16 by press release and notification to the schools.
CoastFest 2020 T-shirts, featuring art by Maleah Lavarias of Needwood Elementary School will be sold online. Sales will be available from a link at www.CoastalGaDNR.org/CoastFest between Monday, Sept. 21, and Friday, Oct. 9. The cost is $10 plus shipping and handling. Please allow four to six weeks for delivery. The shirt is kelly green and features a mosaic sea turtle on the back with Virtual CoastFest 2020 logo on the front breast.
The CoastFest website will also feature short videos from previous exhibitors, allowing them to highlight their programs and missions.
Anyone with questions about Virtual CoastFest 2020 may contact Tyler Jones at 912-262-3140 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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