Assateague Coastal Trust
ACT To Protect Our Coastal Bays
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What is Coast Kids?

Coast Kids is a family based environmental education program of the Assateague Coastal Trust. Our mission is to expose children to nature in a fun and safe way, and to spark their interest for Delmarva’s local fauna, flora and geography. We believe that nature can be explored with all senses, and that hands-on learning experiences build a deeper understanding of our environment.

How Can You Benefit From Coast Kids?

(Click the links below to open/close for more information)

1. Coast Kids Membership

Coast Kids Membership

Monthly Free Events

Coast Kids families enjoy monthly free events such as bird banding, canoeing, or going on a critter hunt. The events are held mostly in Worcester County, and sometimes in Wicomico County, Virginia, or southern Delaware. All events are on weekends (Saturday mornings or afternoons, or Sundays afternoons) and are usually about 2 hours long. The events are geared toward children age 3 to 13. Older or younger siblings are certainly welcome as well. See a list of our upcoming events.

Coast Kids Package

In addition to the events all members receive a membership package which contains a Coast Kids T-shirt, and a membership present such as a dip net, a map, or a Coast Kids water bottle (presents change every year).


The cost for a 1 year family membership is:

  • Family with 1 child — $35.00
  • Each additional sibling — $20.00

If you have any questions, please send an email to Coast Kids ( or call the ACT office at (410) 629 1538.

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2. Nature Explorers Summer Enrichment Program

Nature Explorers Summer Enrichment Program

Since 2014, Coast Kids offers two weeks of Nature Explorers Summer Enrichment Program.

This fun-filled camp features topics such as bay ecology, colonial history, edible wild plants, and nature art projects.

Students go kayaking, canoeing, or boating at many beautiful places around the Delaware, Maryland, & Virginia (Delmarva) area.

The camp is designed for students ages 5 to 10. Some scholarships may be available. Please contact Verena Chase by email, ( or call (410) 629-1538, if you have any questions.

Please see our current
camp information and registration forms to sign up.

Registration is Closed - no spaces left.


3. In-School Programs

In-School Programs

All programs are held in schools, or on the school grounds. Programs are held during the school year.
A service fee of $2.00 per student helps to cover costs for material and supplies.

For more information please contact Verena Chase, Coast Kids Program Director at 410-629-1538 or by sending her an e-mail

Trash Free Lunch
(Recycling and Saving Energy)

Grades K to 2

Duration: 45 minutes
Students will identify ways to save energy in school or at home, and learn how to make a trash free school lunch.

What's In The Water?
(Pollution & Water Quality Monitoring)

Grades 3 to 6

Duration: 1 hour
This hands-on class explains non-point-source and point-source pollution using a topographic model of a coastal community. Students will learn the direct and indirect effects of pollution, and what they can do to avoid it. Additionally, students study basic water quality monitoring.

Where Do Fish Sticks Come From?
(Ocean Food Chain/Food Web)

Grades 4 to 8

Duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Younger students will study food chains, particularly in the ocean, using hands-on activities. Children will learn how fragile the balance within the food chain is, and what we can do to keep it healthy. Older students will learn about the ocean food web and trophic levels (primary producers, consumers, intermediate, top redators). The class focuses on human effects on the ocean food web, and how to make good choices using resources from the ocean.

Native, Introduced, and Invasive Species

Grades 6 to 8

Duration: 1 hour
Students study the difference between native, introduced, and invasive species. Introduction of nonnative species may happen intentionally or unintentionally, and may become beneficial or invasive. Students will learn about the effects of some of the worst, and some of the best introductions of non-native species. The class focuses on invasive species that were introduced to the Eastern Shore, and how to manage them once they are established.

Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

Grades 7 to 8

Duration: 1 hour
Students will first learn the difference between weather and climate, and what the greenhouse effect is. The latest research will show how climate changed in the past, and what predictions can be made for the future. Most importantly students will study the effects of climate change on the Eastern Shore.



4. Little Scientist Class

Little Scientists Class

The weekly Little Scientists class introduces preschoolers and homeschoolers ages 3 to 9 to experimentation in science.

This fun and hands-on class features the wonders of biology, chemistry, and physics. A parent or guardian must stay with the child throughout the class session.

The class is held September thru April at the Red Doors Community Center on 3rd Street in Ocean City. Please sign up at the Red Doors Community Center webpage.

Please see our current list of classes and to register.





Meet Our Coast Kids Staff


Verena Chase
Coast Kids Program Director

Verena Chase is our Coast Kids Program Director and has worked for ACT since 2004. She coordinates monthly events, and the Nature Explorers summer camp, teaches environmental education classes and manages the Coast Kids membership program.

Verena holds an MS in Environmental Protection from FH Bingen, Germany.

Contact Verena by e-mail ( or call the ACT offices at (410) 629-1538.





Heather Nottingham
Nature Explorers Coordinator

Heather Nottingham is a coordinator of the Coast Kids Nature Explorer Summer Camp.

Alongside Verena, Heather creates curriculum and aids in instruction of camp activities. Heather is a certified Pre-K through 8th grade teacher and currently holds a BS in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Computer Science for Education.