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NOAA: Making Waves

From corals to coastal science, catch the current of the ocean with our audio and video podcast, Making Waves

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Underwater but Unforgotten (Episode 120)

In this video episode: two Civil War-era sailors lost over 150 years ago aboard the U.S.S. Monitor are laid to rest. Don't miss this moving three-minute video brought to you by NOAA's Ocean Today.Episode permanent link and show notes


10 Feb 2014

Rank #1

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Connecting the Dots Between Corals and Humans (Episode 135)

Coral reefs are under intense pressure from climate change, pollution, and unsustainable use. So what can we do about it? To answer that question, we need to better understand the main threat to our reefs. Humans. Episode permanent link and show notes


24 Mar 2016

Rank #2

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Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone and Red Tide News (Episode 77)

In this episode: Major Flooding on the Mississippi River Predicted to Cause Largest Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Ever Recorded. The Gulf of Mexico's hypoxic zone is predicted to be the largest ever recorded due to extreme flooding of the Mississippi River this spring, according to an annual forecast by a team of NOAA-supported scientists from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Louisiana State University and the University of Michigan. Study Sheds Light On Red Tide Toxin. NOAA-supported researchers at Texas A&M University have determined why red tide algae in the Gulf of Mexico make toxin, a development that could prove beneficial to both human and marine life.


24 Jun 2011

Rank #3

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Alaska: Marine Debris in the Wilderness (Episode 134)

Alaska—the largest and most remote state in the United States—is filled with wilderness and beauty, and unfortunately with marine debris. With a longer coastline than all the other U.S. states combined, Alaska finds itself with the greatest concentration of marine debris in our country. In this episode, we learn just how challenging the issue of marine debris can be in the vast wilderness of this state, how the NOAA Marine Debris program is working to solve this problem, and how the key to beating this issue is in the innovation and ingenuity of the community working to address it. Episode permanent link and show notes


28 Jan 2016

Rank #4

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Marine Mammals Help Collect Ocean Info; New Marine Debris App (Episode 75)

In this episode: Collecting Ocean Data with Marine Mammals. Scientists are enlisting marine mammals with electronic tags to collect critical ocean data from around the nation. NOAA's Integrated Ocean Observing System is working to standardize various tagging programs so researchers can better tap into this data stream. New Smartphone App Targets Marine Debris. With bottles, cans, abandoned or lost fishing gear, and other marine debris washing up on our shores each year, the University of Georgia and NOAA have teamed up to create a new, innovative cell phone reporting mechanism to combat the marine debris problem. NOS Photo Contest. World Ocean Day is June 8. Help us celebrate the beauty, mystery, and importance of the ocean by submitting your best ocean photos!


26 May 2011

Rank #5

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Ocean in Google Earth; predicting cholera (Episode 15)

Users of Google Earth can now explore the depths of the ocean and discover NOAA information and images along their journey. And using ocean observations from satellites to predict the outbreak of cholera.


6 Feb 2009

Rank #6

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Hurricane Response (Episode 98)

It’s the end of May -- and that means it’s not only the start of the summer season, it’s the beginning of hurricane season. Most people know that NOAA’s National Weather Service plays a huge role when hurricanes threaten our coasts, but what role does NOAA’s National Ocean Service play? Find out in this episode -- and learn about some of the online tools and information that you can use before, during, and after hurricanes strike. Episode permanent link and show notes


31 May 2012

Rank #7

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Human Health and Climate Change (Episode 79)

Climate Change and Harmful Algal Blooms. In a recent study, researchers from NOAA's West Coast Center for Oceans and Human Health used cutting-edge technologies to model future ocean and weather patterns. Atmospheric Dust and the Ocean Environment. In a recent NOAA-funded study, University of Georgia and U.S. Geological Survey researchers considered how global desertification and the resulting increase in atmospheric dust based on some climate-change scenarios could fuel the presence of harmful bacteria in the ocean and seafood.


21 Jul 2011

Rank #8

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New England Red Tide Outlook; Pharmaceuticals in Our Environment (Episode 46)

This week, we take a look at the 'red tide' outlook for the Gulf of Maine in 2010. Then, we investigate what we know about pharmaceuticals in our environment.


3 Mar 2010

Rank #9

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Coastal Zone Management Act 40th Anniversary (Episode 105)

We’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of what some call the most important national coastal legislation you've probably never heard of. It’s called the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). We're joined by Laura McKay, Virginia's Coastal Zone Program manager, who talks about an eelgrass restoration project along Virginia’s eastern shore made possible by this Act.


25 Oct 2012

Rank #10

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Hypoxia in U.S. Coastal Waters (Episode 60)

Earlier this month, a new interagency report was delivered to Congress that warns of the growing threat of low oxygen "dead zones" in coastal waters around the U.S. This condition is known as hypoxia -- where oxygen levels drop so low that creatures in the water are stressed or killed. In this episode, we hear from two of the scientists behind the report: Dr. Libby Jewett from NOAA and Herb Buxton from the US Geological Survey. They help us learn more about the extent of this problem, its causes, and how this trend might be reversed.


15 Sep 2010

Rank #11

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Haiti support; oil spill at Port Arthur, Texas; marine protected area news (Episode 44)

Join us for three stories this week: * NOAA provides support for Haiti Recovery Efforts * NOS Responds to an Oil Spill in Texas * News About the National Marine Protected Areas System


3 Feb 2010

Rank #12

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Coastal Blue Carbon (Episode 124)

Coastal Blue Carbon. Heard of it? A NOAA environmental scientist explains how certain small coastal areas play an outsized role in reducing climate change.Episode permanent link and show notes


8 May 2014

Rank #13

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A robot's daring mission (Episode 110)

In this episode: learn about the Challenger mission, an effort from the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System and Rutgers to send ocean gliders around the world. We then look back to the 2009 Scarlet Knight mission, the first successful ocean glider crossing of the Atlantic. We end with a screening of a teaser from the 2010 documentary 'Atlantic Crossing: a robot's daring mission.' (5:41 minutes) Episode permanent link and show notes


7 Feb 2013

Rank #14

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Mapping the Arctic sea floor; avoiding whales in Calif.; benthic maps (Episode 3)

This week, we bring you news about a recent expedition to map an unknown sea floor in the Arctic. Then we travel to California, where staff of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary work to prevent ships from striking blue whales in the Santa Barbara Channel. Finally, we head down to Texas to talk about a new digital map of underwater vegetation in the Coastal Bend region near Corpus Christi.


14 Nov 2008

Rank #15

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Flame Retardants in the Coastal Environment (Episode 59)

A 2009 NOAA report finds that man-made toxic chemicals used as flame retardants in consumer products are found in all U.S. coastal waters and the Great Lakes. The chemicals-Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers, or PBDEs-have generated international concern in recent years due to their global distribution and associated adverse environmental and human health effects. We talk with one of the authors of the report. [This is a rebroadcast of an episode that originally aired on April 1, 2009]


2 Sep 2010

Rank #16

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Powerful Fish-Killing Toxin May Offer Human Health Benefits (Episode 36)

Could a deadly toxic chemical produced by Euglena Sanguinea, a type of algae known for well over a century -- algae that you may have even seen before under a microscope in your High School biology class -- someday be used to treat cancer?


30 Sep 2009

Rank #17

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NOS News (Episode 66)

We have three stories for you this week: A new NOAA archive is launched on the web for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; Texas gets a new forecast system to warn of toxic algal outbreaks along the coast; the first ocean glider to successfully cross the Atlantic goes on display at the Smithsonian Institution.


6 Jan 2011

Rank #18

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Deepwater Horizon Response and Restoration (Episode 57)

Join us this week for a talk with Doug Helton, Incident Operations Coordinator with the Ocean Service's Office of Response and Restoration, to learn about the role this office plays in support of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill recovery effort in the Gulf of Mexico.


5 Aug 2010

Rank #19

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NOS News (Episode 65)

We have three stories this week: Funds are delivered to restore sections of the Delaware River damaged by a 2004 oil spill; the rules change for sewage discharge in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary; and the Smithsonian Institution launches a new Ocean Portal.


6 Jan 2011

Rank #20