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Making Waves: Episode 13 (Jan. 23, 2009)

(INTRO)
... WE’RE GOING TO DO SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT THIS WEEK. FIRST, IT’S GOING TO BE A VERY SHORT EPISODE. THAT’S BECAUSE IT’S A THREE-DAY WORKWEEK HERE IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C. METRO AREA BECAUSE OF THE MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR, FEDERAL HOLIDAY AND THE PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION. BUT THIS IS A PERFECT TIME TO INTRODUCE YOU TO A BRAND NEW NOS PODCAST THAT’S GOING TO PREMIER NEXT MONDAY, ON JANUARY 26. STAY TUNED FOR A SAMPLE OF WHAT’S TO COME.

WE’LL BE BACK WITH OUR REGULAR FORMAT NEXT WEEK. WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, THIS IS MAKING WAVES FROM NOAA’S NATIONAL OCEAN SERVICE.

( DIVING DEEPER)
SO, MAKING WAVES IS A SHORT WEEKLY PODCAST TO BRING YOU THE LATEST NEWS AND INFORMATION FROM THE NOS. BUT WOULDN’T IT BE NICE TO HAVE A LONGER-FORMAT PODCAST TO BRING YOU INTERVIEWS FROM NOS SCIENTISTS AND EXPERTS? THAT’S THE IDEA BEHIND DIVING DEEPER. IT’S GOING TO PREMIER NEXT WEEK, AND WILL BE COMING TO YOU ONCE EVERY TWO WEEKS.

EACH EPISODE OF DIVING DEEPER WILL FOCUS ON ONE TOPIC. THE FIRST EPISODE IS ABOUT NUTRIENT POLLUTION, OR EUTROPHICATION. IN LATER EPISODES, WE’LL HEAR ABOUT MARINE PROTECTED AREAS, NAUTICAL CHARTS, GEODESY, ALL ABOUT THE INTEGRATED OCEAN OBSERVING SYSTEM, AND MUCH, MUCH MORE. WE THINK IT’S GOING TO BE GREAT.
NOW LET’S HEAR A SAMPLE OF THE FIRST EPISODE ABOUT EUTROPHICATION FEATURING NOS SCIENTIST DR. SUZANNE BRICKER.

(SAMPLE OF DIVING DEEPER)
WELCOME TO DIVING DEEPER WHERE WE INTERVIEW NATIONAL OCEAN SERVICE SCIENTISTS ON THE OCEAN TOPICS AND INFORMATION THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU!

TODAY’S QUESTION IS …WHAT IS EUTROPHICATION?

TO HELP US DIVE A LITTLE DEEPER INTO THIS QUESTION, WE WILL TALK WITH DR. SUZANNE BRICKER ABOUT EUTROPHICATION – WHAT IT IS, WHAT IT MEANS, AND WHAT SCIENTISTS ARE DOING ABOUT IT. SUZANNE IS A PHYSICAL SCIENTIST FROM THE NATIONAL CENTERS FOR COASTAL OCEAN SCIENCE. HI, SUZANNE, WELCOME TO OUR SHOW.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME TODAY. I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO TALKING ABOUT EUTROPHICATION AND SOME OF THE STUDIES THAT WE’VE DONE TO UNDERSTAND NUTRIENT POLLUTION IN OUR NATION’S ESTUARIES.

HOST : THANKS SUZANNE. FIRST, CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EUTROPHICATION AND NUTRIENT POLLUTION?

SUZANNE: ESSENTIALLY, EUTROPHICATION AND NUTRIENT POLLUTION ARE THE SAME THING. NITROGEN AND PHOSPHORUS ARE NUTRIENTS THAT PLANTS NEED TO GROW. THE PROBLEM OCCURS WHEN AN EXCESS AMOUNT OF THESE NUTRIENTS ARE DELIVERED TO A WATER BODY AND THAT CAUSES AN EXCESSIVE GROWTH OF ALGAE THAT CLOUDS THE WATER. THIS MAY CAUSE OTHER MORE SERIOUS PROBLEMS SUCH AS LOW LEVELS OF DISSOLVED OXYGEN AS THE ALGAE DECOMPOSES.

HOST: OK, SO WHAT CAN CAUSE THESE INCREASED LEVELS OF NUTRIENTS AND WHERE DO NUTRIENTS COME FROM?

SUZANNE: NUTRIENTS COME FROM A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT SOURCES. THEY CAN OCCUR NATURALLY, AND ALWAYS HAVE, AS A RESULT OF WEATHERING OF ROCKS AND SOIL IN THE WATERSHED AND THEY CAN ALSO COME FROM THE OCEAN DUE TO MIXING OF WATER CURRENTS.

BUT, WE ARE MOST INTERESTED IN THE NUTRIENTS THAT ARE RELATED TO PEOPLE LIVING ON AND IN THE COASTAL ZONE BECAUSE HUMAN-RELATED IMPACTS ARE MUCH GREATER THAN NATURAL INPUTS. BASICALLY, MORE PEOPLE LIVING IN THE COASTAL ZONE MEANS MORE NUTRIENTS ENTERING OUR COASTAL WATERS FROM WASTEWATER TREATMENT FACILITIES, RUNOFF FROM LAND IN URBAN AREAS DURING RAINS AND FROM FARMING. WHEN FERTILIZERS ARE APPLIED TO CROPS, THE EXCESS NUTRIENTS THAT AREN’T TAKEN UP BY THE PLANTS WASH AWAY IN RUNOFF TYPICALLY DURING A RAIN STORM. THIS ALSO HAPPENS IN URBAN AREAS WHERE LAWN FERTILIZERS ARE USED AND, INTERESTINGLY, PET AND WILDLIFE WASTES CAN ALSO BE A NUTRIENT SOURCE.

I SHOULD ALSO MENTION HERE THAT IT’S NOT JUST THE COASTAL ZONE, BUT UPSTREAM SOURCES THAT CAN IMPACT WATER BODIES. AND SO, IT’S IMPORTANT NOT ONLY TO FOCUS ON THE COASTAL ZONE, BUT ALSO THOSE UPSTREAM SOURCES OF NUTRIENTS AS WELL.

(OUTRO)
SO THAT’S JUST A SAMPLE OF DIVING DEEPER, A NEW NOS PODCAST PREMIERING NEXT MONDAY. YOU’LL FIND IT ON OUR WEB SITE AT OCEANSERVICE.NOAA.GOV.

AND IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NATIONAL OCEAN SERVICE OR ABOUT OUR OCEAN, SEND US AN EMAIL AT NOS.WEB@NOAA.GOV.

NOW, IN HONOR OF DIVING DEEPER, LET’S BRING IN THE DIVING BUBBLES!

THIS IS MAKING WAVES FROM NOAA'S NATIONAL OCEAN SERVICE. SEE YOU NEXT TIME.


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