The Delaware Bay doesn't have arms, yet it continues to give generously to tourists and residents in the First State.
The bay gives us a place for recreation to do activities such as kayaking and boating. Delaware Bay also gives jobs to commercial fishermen. And since the bay is an estuary, it plays a vital role in preventing major flooding. This is so because the marshy areas near the perimeter of the bay act like a sponge during times of rain, absorbing lots of water.
To return the favor and show a little kindness back to the Delaware Bay, the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve will launch its free Arts in the Estuary event at the St. Jones Reserve in Dover on Saturday.
Arts in the Estuary will feature more than 16 artists, authors and exhibitors showcasing their work for sale amidst the lavish scenery of the St. Jones Reserve. Visitors can view painting and carving demonstrations, speak to local artists, paint an estuary landscape and get tips on how to create their own piece of art.
In addition, Arts in the Estuary will kick off a contest titled "Thank You Delaware Bay," where students in grades kindergarten through 12th will be able to sign up. For the contest, participants must use art to create an illustration that shows why they're thankful for the Delaware Bay. The deadline for entries will likely end in late December, said Jennifer Holmes, education coordinator for DNERR. Details on what the grand prize will be hasn't been finalized.
Arts in the Estuary means a great deal to Holmes and her DNERR colleagues because this year marks DNERR's 20th anniversary. She hopes Arts in the Estuary will generate more attention about DNERR's mission to establish, protect and manage natural estuarine habitats for research, education and coastal stewardship.
"We've been here for 20 years and we're still trying to get the word out," Holmes said. "We're part of the community."
DNERR, a branch of DNREC, is located on the St. Jones Reserve. DNERR is one of only 28 estuarine research reserves across the country.
IF YOU GO
WHAT Arts in the Estuary
WHEN 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday
WHERE St. Jones Reserve, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover
INFO Visit de.gov/dnerrarts or call 739-6377