Cape Island Ocean Festival at the Nature Center of Cape May
We will celebrate the first Cape Island Ocean Festival here on the beautiful grounds of the Nature Center of Cape May from 10am-4pm,” explains Gretchen Whitman, Sanctuary Director. “The day will be filled with fun educational activities focused on the beauty and importance of the ocean and how we can all be good stewards of the sea. June is such a special month for celebrating our ocean. June 8th is World Ocean Day, a day for everyone on our blue planet to honor and celebrate the ocean.“
The Cape Island Ocean Festival is a free event sponsored by the Cape May City and West Cape May Environmental Commissions. The day will begin with a flow yoga class with Center Program Director Emily Wilmoth. A beach clean with Jillian Simons from Becoming Intention will continue throughout the day. There will be many ocean themed activities for kids and local non-profits including; Surfrider South Jersey, Center for Community Arts, Ameri Corps Watershed Ambassador, Clean Ocean Action, New Jersey Audubon, Cape May Green Team, Cape May Maritime Museum, Garden Club of Cape May and Cape May City Environmental Commission. Nature Center of Cape may will host Harbor Safaris and their Horseshoe Crab Lab throughout the day.
There will also be short films and speakers in the newly renovated Education Building including; John Francis, The Planet Walker will discuss his eco activism and be signing his books and local beach walker, Jason Black will share his Native American artifacts found on the beaches of Cape May. Food trucks will include Empanada Mamas and a beer garden by Mudhen Brewery. The Nature Center’s “Hot Spot Cafe” will feature homemade baked goods, coffee and hot chocolate.
The day will be rounded out with live music by Dan Barry. WCFA will be broadcasting live from the Festival grounds throughout the day. Author Neeti Bathala will be reading from and signing her book ‘Moonlight Crab Count’. The book was co-written with Jennifer Keats and is beautifully illustrated by Veronica V. Jones. The book follows an adventurous young girl and her mother as they volunteer to count horseshoe crabs on their beach. Readers will learn valuable facts about these ancient creatures and how they can get involved in the effort to conserve horseshoe crabs.
As you wander the grounds of the Festival you will find a selection of carefully curated local artists, inspired by the sea, selling their work including; Cape Island Treasures, Cover Your Beak, HKM Jewelry, Janet Payne Jewelry, Goofy Foot’s Garage, Green Monkey Vintage, Salty Rusalka/Jetty Yeti, South of the Moon Pottery, Spirit Catcher Photography and Queen Bee Arts.
A great way to cap off the day is to do a Paddle for a Purpose, kayak tour by Aqua Trails, which will serve as a fundraiser for the Nature Center’s Aquatic Lab.