The University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment and the Delaware Sea Grant Program Present Coast Day!

Coast Day is an annual event with fun, family-friendly educational activities that highlight the importance of our natural marine resources. For more information on Coast Day, please visit the Official Coast Day Website.

Stop by our lab in Cannon Room 119 to participate in the "Bloomin' Algae" take-home experiment. The experiment is designed to teach children that run-off from land, especially after application of fertilizer, can stimulate the growth of algae. And when fertilizers run into creeks, lakes, or bays, harmful algal blooms may occur. 

Hands-On Experiments
Children Participate in Bloomin' Algae Experiment at Coast Day 2010
                                                                                                              “We took home 2 experiments on Coast Day. Both of our  (+) grew into a reddish brown bloom.  Very excited to see the change!”                                                     
Experiment Results
Results of the Bloomin' Algae Experiment Are Seen At Home
“I am emailing you the results of the “Bloomin' Algae” experiment my daughter did with you at Coast Day.  Her (-) flask was clear, but her (+) flask was brown.  My daughter really enjoyed watching the flasks every day!  She thought that nothing was going to happen at first, and then it seemed like one night it just turned brown.  She was amazed at the "over night" change.  She didn't really see that it was slowly changing color, but once it was completely different than the control she understood.  Thank you for doing the initial part of the experiment with us.  She has a different outlook.  We talked about our neighbors and lawn fertilizing companies, how our community reservoir used to have scum on the top before getting a fountain to help circulate the water, and we took a walk down to the river in our back yard and looked at how there is algae on it and what some cause may be.  This was a great conversation piece as well as a learning piece.  Thanks again.  I hope to see you again next October.”

Teacher's Resources:

Hands-on projects for middle-school students, with teacher's guide (TE) for             each project.

Other K-12 resources from CEOE and DE Sea Grant


Looking for molecular methods for enumeration of Harmful Algae? Check out our QPCR Manual


Questions or comments? Contact Kathy Coyne