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Water Education Day supporters thanked

Water Education Day, which is held the Thursday before the Urbanna Oyster Festival at the town waterfront was a big success again this year. Students from area schools attended and enjoyed a variety of hands-on activities.

On behalf of the Marine Science Legacy Program of the Urbanna Oyster Festival, which hosts the event, program coordinator Vera England recently extended thanks to all those who helped with Education Day.

“We could not put on this program without Dianne Frank, Urbanna’s wonderful town marina or the traffic assistance of Lewis Filling,” said England. “ We owe special thanks to the Vautrots of Liberty at Compass Quay for providing parking for a huge number of exhibitors, and to Cynthia Rowles of Middlesex 4-H, who is invaluable with her organizational prowess.

“Thanks to John Porter of Middlesex High School, Sara Beam of Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School, and Dean Goodwin of Christchurch School and to all of their students for their exhibits and their assistance. These teachers go above and beyond by teaching their students to teach the younger children!” said England. “And thanks to Barry Fox, who provided our delightfully interactive lunch time concert.

“We owe the event’s success to our exhibitors, who volunteered to come to the festival early for a long and exciting day with the local school children. Heather Wickens of the NPS Captain John Smith Water Trail, Mike Steen and Wyatt Vrooman of the Maritime Museum Education Consortium, Steve Smith of the Deltaville Maritime Museum, Jock Collamore and crew from Colonial Seaport Foundation, and Alice “Elk Moon” Call taught about our bay’s history,” said England.

“Environmental emphasis was provided by  Paula Jasinsky of Be the Bay, Jill Bieri and crew from Chesapeake Experience, Lacey England and Hannah England from Townes Site Engineering, LaVerne Calhoun, Rene Moring and Staci Merkt of the Tidewater Soil and Conservation District and Charlie Ivins with Natural Resources Conservation District.

“Thanks also to our oyster experts, Doug McMinn of the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Company, Richard Shores of the Middlesex County Museum and Rufus Ruark of Shores and Ruark Seafood, Jim Renner and crew from the Tidewater Oyster Gardeners, Russell Burke and David Shulte of VIMS and the Army Corps of Engineers, Dave Bushey of Commonwealth Pro Dive, and Joey Williams and Ken Smith and others from the Virginia Waterman’s Association,” continued England.

“Thanks for the emphasis on safety and ecology by Michele Hutton and crew from U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 62, and Anne Smith and Peter Hall of VA Clean Marina at VIMS. We are grateful to Virginia Aquarium and their staff for bringing their Ocean in Motion exhibit, funded by the Oyster Festival Foundation. These exhibitors give their all, and then do it again on Friday and Saturday of the festival!

“Thanks to our great volunteers, Jane Cutler, Lynn and Jim Vadja, Jim Gascoigne, Don Lowry and Tom Knez, who helped keep the groups moving without bottlenecks, and to John England, Waterfront Chairman, who organized the tents and the buses flawlessly. Thanks once again to J.D. Dodds of Moo’s Deli and Sweet Shoppe for the delicious box lunches.

“Grateful thanks go also to the Urbanna Oyster Festival Foundation, which sponsors and funds the Education Program throughout the year, not just on Oyster Festival Weekend, and to Pam Simon, who keeps us all straight. Very special thanks go to the Southside Sentinel for their ongoing support, both on the web and in print. To Middlesex school administrators Dr. Rusty Fairheart, Dr. James Lane, and Jeanne Duke who provided the means, and to teachers who brought their students from Middlesex Elementary School and St. Clare Walker Middle School, as well as Aylett Country Day School  and Chesapeake Academy—thanks for spending a day on the waterfront with us!” said England.

Related Articles:

Activities on the waterfront during Oyster Festival
‘Ocean in Motion’ coming to Urbanna waterfront
Urbanna Oyster Festival’s ‘best kept secret’

posted 12.03.2009

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