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Sponsorships needed for festival’s Education Day

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The now-familiar “Bea Hayman Clark,” Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s educational deadrise, will be in Urbanna Creek later this month.
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Yancey Powell (left) imparts some of his knowledge to area students during the 2008 Education Day.
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Captain Jimmy Sollner displays a crab pot to an enthusiastic student.
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The Marine Science Legacy Program is seeking sponsorships to help Middlesex students spend a day on the water learning how to preserve their future.
The now-familiar “Bea Hayman Clark,” Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s educational deadrise, will be in Urbanna Creek later this month. Aboard the boat will be Captain Jimmy Sollner and educator Yancey Powell.

While it’s that time of year when most people have put their boats on their trailers for the winter, for some of the students and teachers in Middlesex schools it’s time once again to explore Urbanna Creek and the Rappahannock River. From October 13-23, local students will be joining Captain Sollner and Powell to learn about the Bay and how to help reverse its decline.

Since 2007, the Urbanna Oyster Festival Foundation has funded these on-the-water field trips for groups from Middlesex Elementary School, St. Clare Walker Middle School and Middlesex High School, and provided the opportunity for Christchurch School to participate from the Urbanna location.

As part of the Marine Science Legacy Program, which was initiated by a grant from Dominion Foundation when the Oyster Festival celebrated its 50th anniversary, the Festival Foundation has continued to sponsor educational programs for area students. This includes “Education Day at the Waterfront,” which takes place on the Thursday before the festival with exhibitors who volunteer to come a day early (or often, just for the kids’ program).

Over the years, the educational aspects of the waterfront have grown, and so has the determination of the Festival Foundation, through the Legacy Program, to use their resources for the students of the county. 

The Festival Foundation gets a lot for what it spends—private businesses and non-profit organizations volunteer to bring the heritage and ecology of the Bay to over 250 area children. But even with financial support from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, it costs $250 per day to bring the boat to Urbanna and take our students on the water—and that’s with lodging for Capt. Sollner and Powell donated by a local bed and breakfast.

This year, the Festival Foundation also is bringing the Virginia Aquarium to town for Education Day and the Oyster Festival—another wonderful way to bring the Bay right to the town waterfront.

The Marine Science Legacy Program is seeking sponsorships to help Middlesex students spend a day on the water learning how to preserve their future. Contact the Urbanna Oyster Festival Office at http://www.urbannaoysterfestival.com, email , by phone at 758-0368. 

posted 10.07.2009

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