Friday, March 1, 2024

VIMS offers tours, costume contest in annual open house this weekend

VIMS is commenting Marine Science Day (HNNDaily/ courtesy of E. Fryer/W&M)
VIMS is commenting Marine Science Day (HNNDaily photo/Courtesy of E. Fryer/W&M)

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science is opening its doors Saturday to those who want to learn more about coastal habitats.

VIMS’ annual open house, known as Marine Science Day, is Saturday at the institute’s campus in Gloucester Point. The free event runs from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m., according to a VIMS press release.

This year’s theme is healthy waters, and guests of all ages will learn about VIMS’ efforts to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay and marine ecosystems around the world.

Special exhibits will display research on microplastics in the ocean, cutting-edge technology that detects the early signs of damaging algae bloom, and the use of biosensors to detect pollutants like oil.

There will also be a “wacky science photo book,” according to the release, 10-minute educational “fast talks,” and activities in the Kids’ Pavilion.

“Children of all ages will have a great time at the event, but there’s plenty geared to adults,” the release said.

Tours will return to the open house this year and will take guests through the oyster hatchery, the seagrass greenhouse, VIMS’ laboratories and the teaching marsh.

Other exhibits will showcase jellyfish, eels and other mud-dwelling creatures. Guests will get the chance to learn about estuaries and the creatures that inhabit them by collecting and observing animals from the York River, weather permitting.

Guests can show up in an original costume of marine life and compete in the marine life costume contest. The winner will receive a $50 coupon for the VIMS gift shop.

At noon, a culinary demonstration will show how to prepare seafood.

While the open house is free, guests must register to attend. Registration can be completed at the door or on VIMS’s website for faster admission.

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