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  • Best of  Parade
    Best of Parade  Daisy Scout Troop 1309 of Poquoson won the top prize in the Parade of Marine Life for their jellyfish costumes. Here, VIMS Outreach Coordinator Susan Maples presents the swarm with their award in McHugh Auditorium. Photo by Sue Stein/VIMS.  
  • Best of  Parade
    Best of Parade  Daisy Scout Troop 1309 of Poquoson won the top prize in the Parade of Marine Life during Marine Science Day at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science for their jellyfish costumes. Photo by Sue Stein/VIMS.  
  • Best Group Costume
    Best Group Costume  A group of students from Ware Academy in Gloucester won the "Best Group Costume" award in the Parade of Marine Life for their portrayal of a marine ecosystem including perch, flounder, jellyfish, and seagrass. The Parade of Marine Life is a crowd favorite during Marine Science Day at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Photo by Sue Stein/VIMS.  
  • Best Representation of Plant or Animal
    Best Representation of Plant or Animal  A local quartet won the "Best Representation of Plant or Animal" award for their portrayal of an eel in the Parade of Marine Life during Marine Science Day at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Photo by Sue Stein/VIMS.  
  • Eel Team
    Eel Team  A local quartet won the "Best Representation of Plant or Animal" award for their portrayal of an eel in the Parade of Marine Life during Marine Science Day at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. From L: Vivian Austin, Lauren Dillon, Eve Austin, and Terri Wilson. Photo by Sue Stein/VIMS.  
  • Most Original Use of Materials
    Most Original Use of Materials  Johnathan Fields of Gloucester won the "Most Original Use of Materials" award for his papier-mâché coral-reef costume in the Parade of Marine Life during Marine Science Day at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Photo by Sue Stein/VIMS.  
  • Honorable Mention
    Honorable Mention  Rhiannon Kilduff of Gloucester received honorable mention for her boxfish costume in the Parade of Marine Life during Marine Science Day at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Photo by Sue Stein/VIMS.  
  • Honorable Mention
    Honorable Mention  Rayna Sims of Gloucester received honorable mention for her summer flounder costume in the Parade of Marine Life during Marine Science Day at VIMS. Photo by Sue Stein/VIMS.  
  • Honorable Mention
    Honorable Mention  Pamela Reynolds received honorable mention for the “dogshark” costume worn by her golden lab Cara.  
  • Dogshark
    Dogshark  Pamela Reynolds with her dog shark (golden lab mix Cara) during the Parade of Marine Life.  
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VIMS Marine Science Day draws large and enthusiastic crowd

Winners announced in costume contest for Parade of Marine Life

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s tenth annual Marine Science Day open house on May 19th drew a large and enthusiastic crowd to Gloucester Point for a day of fun and learning.

Susan Maples, VIMS’ Public Outreach Coordinator, estimates that more than 2,000 people enjoyed a behind-the-scenes look at how VIMS research helps empower Virginians to protect and restore Chesapeake Bay and the coastal ocean. Attendees came from throughout tidewater Virginia and from as far away as Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.

VIMS volunteer Diane Richmand, grad student Jennifer Elliott, and volunteer Tyler Kelley help visitors build a flounder during Marine Science Day.

This year’s event—themed on flounder—provided guests with special opportunities to learn about these unusual flatfish and their adaptations for life on the seafloor. The younger set had fun learning with flounder-based crafts and other activities in the Children's Pavilion, including a flounder “Scramble" and “Camo Toss." They were also able to practice the ancient Japanese fish-printing art of “Gyotaku” with flounder, and to create a “Flounder Frisbee" and “Flounder Flipbook.”

Overall, the event gave visitors a chance to learn how VIMS scientists help manage blue crabs, restore oysters, survey fish populations, conserve biodiversity, monitor water quality, find and remove "ghost" crab pots, and prevent the inadvertent capture of sharks in the tuna and swordfish fishery. Also highlighted was VIMS’ educational partnership with local schools through the GK-12 PERFECT program.

On VIMS’ lower campus, kids and parents also got a chance to collect and observe organisms from the York River, and tour the Institute’s Teaching Marsh, Shellfish Hatchery, and Maritime Forest.

Photos from the "Osprey for a Second" photo booth will be available by Monday, May 28.

Parade of Marine Life

During the annual Parade of Marine Life, a perennial crowd favorite, children and adults from around Tidewater walked through campus wearing handmade costumes portraying flounder, a jellyfish swarm, a 4-person eel, a coral reef, a bryozoan, a boxfish, and seagrass, and other marine creatures. Even local canines took part, with a golden lab mix named Cara dressing as a “dog shark.”

Judith Winston of Martinsville, Virginia took the prize for Most Original Plant or Animal during the Parade of Marine Life for her bryozoan costume. Photo by Sue Stein/VIMS.

Winners of this year’s awards for best Parade costumes were

  • Daisy Scout Troop 1309 of Yorktown/Poquosion, who won “Best of Parade” for their swarm of jellyfish.
  • Judith Winston, who won the “Most Original Plant or Animal” award for her bryozoan costume.
  • A group of students from Ware Academy in Gloucester, who won the "Best Group Costume" award for their portrayal of a marine ecosystem including fish, jellyfish, and seagrass.
  • The local quartet of Eve and Vivian Austin, Lauren Dillon, and Terri Wilson, who won the "Best Representation of Plant or Animal" award for their portrayal of a moray eel.
  • Jonathan Fields, who won the "Most Original Use of Materials" award for his papier-mâché coral-reef costume.
  • Rayna Sims, who received honorable mention for her summer flounder costume.
  • Rhiannon Kilduff, who received honorable mention for her yellow boxfish costume.
  • Pamela Reynolds of Hayes, who accepted an honorable mention for the “dog shark” costume worn by her golden lab mix Cara.
Sponsors

VIMS Dean and Director thanks the sponsors of Marine Science Day, who along with faculty, staff, students, and volunteers make the annual event possible.

This year’s sponsors of Marine Science Day at VIMS are the Christopher Wren Association for Lifelong Learning; Wanchese Fish Company; Dominion; Bill Hudgins; John & Julie Dayton; Luck Stone; The Owens Foundation; Chesapeake Bank; Colonial Virginia Bank; Phillips Energy, Inc.; JCB Transport, Inc.; Rappahannock Concrete Corporation, Martin, ingles & Ingles; and Tidewater Newspapers, Inc.

VIMS, one of the leading marine centers in the U.S., provides research, education, and advisory service to help protect and restore Chesapeake Bay and coastal waters. The Institute offers Master’s and Ph.D. degrees through its School of Marine Science, part of the College of William and Mary.

A full list of VIMS' ongoing and upcoming summer outreach events are available on the "Public Programs" section of the VIMS website.

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