The Ocean and Us


Major funding for the pulses provided by leadership gift from the Sutherland family the Sutherland Support W._h._y._y.. And its commitment to the production of programs that improve improve our quality of life. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heart of Health and science. I'm Mike and Scott when I'm at the beach. I always feel like the ocean. Shen has this rejuvenating effect on me not in the sense that my wrinkles smooth out but in the sense of this boundless joy you feel when you're a kid hit the water searching might does their gums. I was watching the sun. Come up in Vero Beach Florida on that day. Smelling ailing the salt water listening to the sounds of the waves Pelicans were flying overhead is just before seven o'clock in the morning and the whole horizon is beautiful shade of pink. I guess our inch to my kids. The Ocean in is an endless source of fun and exploration. What's that he's a coral yeah wormhole Senate? I know like earthworms keywords and I'm feeling pretty Zen. It makes you feel like life goes on is the ocean has been here forever over and the waves keep coming so it sort of gives you the sense of peace and eternity scientists who study the ocean probably feel all of that too but they were looking at things differently. I'm working in the Southern Ocean to study penguins like John Baptiste T- Abell when I look at the Ocean I see the space of wilderness one of the last ones that we really any reading it to protect something very important for all of us or Samantha Chapman she studies mangroves and the thin Green Line of vegetation that exists between land and sea so I spend a Lotta time trudging around in the mud of marshes and mangroves when I look at the ocean I C I a place to wash off all the mud on my pants some shoes but second I see the water microscopic organisms that nourish these beautiful coastal ecosystems that protect us from big storms that ironically start in the ocean in our lives are connected to the ocean in so many ways we needed to survive but our presence and habits Abbott's pose a threat to the ocean ecosystems on today's episode the ocean and US when I look out at the ocean but what I see is life ace and the universe itself we owe a lot to the see it gives us food to eat water to drink and oxygen in the air that we breathe in return. We're not always very appreciative. Initiative nowadays our impact on the ocean. Our marine footprint is bigger than it's ever been Steffi and looked into one way. Our presence in the C. has majorly increased will west is in a part of the world. Most of us can't even fathom visiting from the three point nine feet in the Indian Ocean off the island of poverty in the Seychelles off the coast of East Africa and will will is three hundred fifty nine feet below the sea surface in a deep sea submersible. He's with the team of scientists who are on a mission to demystify the the oceans twilight zone beyond the reach of the sun's rays it's toward the end of their dive and they've just come across a rich habitat lots search in a large shark tank dotting by too quickly for us to tell what type it was. The mission is led by the neck and Oxford Deep Ocean Research Institute based in England. They're going to be a sending soon. We'd be damned for two and a half. Maybe three hours now. It's time to come back this up and lasts down down here for much much longer. Get one of the things will's team is here to study is plastics specifically tiny pieces of plastic mastic practically invisible to the naked eye called micro-plastics in the past decade or so scientists have started finding plastics and micro-plastics all over the the ocean when we think of plastic in the ocean we tend to think of it floating on the surface. Maybe you've heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and envision an island sized carpet carpet of trash floating in the middle of the sea but that's just a little scratch on the surface right. That's Randy Rosen a research assistant professor at Boston Austin University. Plastic is a complicated topic because there's what you see everyone I think envisions plastic trash affair foam cups but all that breaks down and who really really small particle Randy works in the Phoenix Islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean she says micro-plastics are suspended all throughout the water column and buried in the seafloor to it's more like flex of spice and seasoning distributed throughout a bowl of soup then spots of fat. You can skim off the surface surface. Randy spends a lot of her time studying plastics but she doesn't particularly want to be a plastics researcher. I don't really have a choice. Practice keeps showing up in all of our samples every sample. We've looked at in any ecosystem that we've looked at across the globe. <hes> plastic has been part of the story and it's been impossible to ignore more to get to the Phoenix islands protected area where Randy works you have to travel seven days by boat from Hawaii even there in a protected area in one of the most most remote places on earth scientists find plastics enmeshed in samples may take from the field surface and those are all typically micro-plastics that are floating in a place police that so far away that the close people to us when we're out there on the International Space Station. It's pretty scary. Randy and other researchers are starting to suspect that there's no part heart of the ocean left untouched by plastic recently a study found for the first time that tiny deep sea creatures living in the Pacific's Mariana trench are eating staggering amounts of plastic. It's terrifying because Mariana trench the deepest part of our planet the Mariana Trench is thirty six thousand feet below sea sea level. It's a zone where the ocean floor is sinking into the interior of the earth going deeper and deeper until it melts if you were to take Mount Everest and drop it in the deepest part of the trench you'd still have more than a mile of water above it even in that abyss there's life specifically clearly little shrimp like creatures called Amfar pods about the size of the pull tab on a soda. Can the researchers found plastic in the guts of over seventy percent of the anthem pods. They collected they also found high levels of toxins called P._C._B.'s in the info pods bodies Randy walked me through how scientists go about collecting tiny any deep sea creatures typically they use remotely operated vehicle or if they're lucky man submersible they'd have suction samplers which are kind of like little vacuums which will suck up sediment and then deposit that tournament into some kind of Dr about it will then be right up to the surface on the surface scientists do delicate dissections under the microscope like a very very fine tuned autopsy in the guts they crack open they find micro-plastics of all types perfectly round beads thin pointy fibers odd shaped miscellaneous. There's bread Blue Green Purple Pink like bits of a kaleidoscope. They're very colorful <hes> and I normally I love you know rainbows in the sky but not both in the organism then scientists analyze each samples molecular structure to figure out specifically what type of plastic they're looking at that helps them. Some guests were the plastic might have come from say. It's a polyamide that might be from nylon rope used on boats cellulose acetate likely from a cigarette but I wanted to understand the bigger picture of where all this plastic comes from and how it ends up in the deep sea so I called up emily pen she's the founder of x expedition a group group that runs all women sailing voyages around the world to raise awareness about plastic pollution so eight million tons of plastic leave land down drains streams screens rivers and waterways flowing into the ocean and that's every year just to give you a sense that's equal to dumping a garbage truck full of of plastic into the ocean every minute there are many ways plastic ends up there. Many countries dumped their garbage directly into the ocean and in countries with with trash collection plastic escapes on its way to an active landfill then flows downstream. You might say okay well. I'm a diligent recycler but but the truth is globally only nine percent of plastic is recycled all that garbage is considered macro plastic macro plastic ends up in the ocean gets worn worn down by the Sons U._v.. Rays waves and wind action and eventually becomes micro-plastics there also a couple big direct sources of micro-plastics. One is as your car tires went down little fibers come off and go down storm drains the others the fibers that come off synthetic fabrics we wash washing machines think of all the stuff in your dryer dryer lint draining into the ocean. The twist is researchers have only found a tiny fraction of the plastic that leaves land on the ocean surface so the big the question is where is the rest of it. What we expect is happening is that it's actually sinking particularly when he gets out these pots world and it <unk> guest hosted an algae barnacles that grow on it and then that makes plastic heavy of the Water and it sinks to the bottom it sinks further and further further down and that's how plastic gets places like the Mariana Trench and ends up and are deep sea friends the INFO pods randy the marine ecologist says plastic in these little guys guts is a big deal? It has the potential to crash food webs right if organisms aren't getting the nutrition that they need because their their belly full but that they have no nutrition because they're full of micro politics instead of food I mean that doesn't bode well for the continuation of healthy marine ecosystems and those micro-plastics come back took us after all we're at the top of those food webs from Siobhan which is the largest island and the Northern Mariana Islands. That's Angelo Villagomez. Here's there's a lot of first hand experience with the ocean and seafood. When I was growing up <hes> I could go down to the beach? Look out to the ocean and we will say well. That's the deepest water in world. The Mariana Trench is right out there for Angelo Plastic and P._C._B.. Pollution in the Mariana Trench isn't some abstract problem you know I don't think of it as this far off place as I think of it as there's plastic pollution in my backyard and you know this is the backyard where <hes> we're. We're catching <unk> our dinner. That's where we got. Most of our Food Angeles relationship with the ocean started early as a kid. He was always outside surrounded by the sea. It was also a big part of his culture. I'm an indigenous tomorrow. My family's very proud to be tomorrow. It affects all aspects of our life from politics to what what we eat and how we live the tomorrow or the native inhabitants of the Mariana Islands and fishing is woven into their way of life Angelos started fishing with his father when he Coconut Crab Hunting Angela says the fact that plastics are entering wild food chains particularly affects indigenous communities indigenous people as a whole our diets consist of wild animals more than other folks so if these poisons are leaching into the food that we're eating those poisons uh-huh or the leaching into us today Angela works for the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project which fights for the creation of marine protected areas. He says plastics are just one threat. Marine environments are facing and stuff Ngelo just used the word poison. Are we all being poisoned by plastic plus to the ocean. What do we know about the health impact of this plastic so plastic does have toxic compounds in it? Things like P._C._B.'s B._p._A.. phthalates those have been linked to cancer and hormone disruptions and plastic is also probably absorbing other chemicals in the ocean like pesticides. The thing is we're not directly eating physical bits of plastic that often because we're not actually eating the stomachs of fish but what might be happening is that the poisons are leaching from the guts of these animals into the rest of their body and traveling up the food web. I think a lot of people are concerned about these issues both from a health the perspective but also of course from the perspective of the health of the ocean so what are some things that could be done to reduce our our footprint and all of this plastic yes so I mean the first thing is that we just heard that most of this plastic might be in the sea floor and so clean up isn't really an option. It's not like we can take big vacuum to the sea floor so that leaves us with reducing the amount of plastic were using on land and that's GonNa have to be a multipronged effort because it's such a big problem so advocates say you know the big polluters and industry have a big responsibility to reduce their footprint and look for new materials like compostable plastics. <hes> governments need to support those shifts and also incentivize more recycling through maybe standardizing the plastic we can recycle to the few bits that are best to recycle and then on a consumer level of people like you and I we can reduce our plastic and particularly alertly reduce single use plastic so that is the one cup of coffee. You've got it and you throw it away after an hour because plastic is really designed nine to last forever so it's not meant to be this temporary one use thing Noboru iced coffee tumbler thank you thanks Mike and talking about oceans and how our impact is changing them. Some scientists say jellyfish populations are increasing facing that has led to beach closures all over the world and even deaths in Australia and the Philippines Giselle you reggae towel reports on new research research on these mysterious creatures Quentin Island is a popular beach spot for New Yorkers like did seem on family a couple of summers ago. Oh Allan Who's twelve noticed something different all day and you can see for jellyfish on the sand outside the water a lot of them Holland in his dad. Michael got into the water anyway. They're not going to scare me of swimming with Alexa treatment. They both got stung. It was those painful fourth scratchy. Leave the water right away. Yeah in a panic Allen's Mama. Lena says the water seems formerly. It's an enjoyable but will in the dalits with don't know how it's affected. Globally everybody biologists definite three suspects suspects that a warmer ocean has allowed some jellyfish populations to reproduce more. I do believe that they are growing on the death is Sir mainly because of US Stephanie Works at the American Museum of Natural History New York besides global warming. She says overfishing has helped boost jellyfish L. A. Fish numbers fishes them of you. Don't have the fishes then they don't have predators on the side change that goes goes on gross froze that growth means more interactions with jellyfish more stinks and on occasionally ruined summer holidays when jellyfish blooms closed on beaches there are more than two thousand species of jellyfish and some of them are very dangerous for example the box jellyfish carries a venom that can kill a person in five minutes. The growth in the jellyfish population has sparked more interesting studying them jellyfish go back over five five hundred million years. That's David Gruber a professor of biology at Baruch College in New York. Almost sapiens only go back a couple of hundred thousand years so so jellyfish have been around for much much longer than us. They have survived all of the five previous massive extinction events. David is also a national geographic explorer in his writing a book about jellyfish. His scientists now believe that they are a big part of the oceans food chain. We've known that when Wales die and fall to the bottom of the sea they can feed deep sea animals for months but now what we're learning is that jellyfish falls smaller intermittent ones this little gelatinous meals are possibly equally as important in maintaining obtaining deep sea biodiversity as well false two years ago he'd begun experiments using an underwater robot to study jellyfish to us is a gentle will soft robotic way of learning more than we might have learned by actually grabbing the animal and bringing it up to the surface and putting it in a jar Dr the big advantage is being able to observe the animal in its own Environment Mechanical Engineer Z. Aren t o designed plastic robot. He says he was inspired by paper Origami. He grew up making in his native Singapore so that she the paper is <hes> flat and from flat. You can get fantastical fantastical three D. Shapes. The robot also starts as a flat surface with twelve faces then a motor triggers the faces to fold forming forming a ball the size of a watermelon and the jellyfish gets scooped inside that bubble Z. says observing them with the robot made him lose as his fear and most of the time we go close to them they kind of sting you so you kinda shy away from them but <hes> being up close and seeing them with different and lights in in how some of them can buy luminous really took my breath away. Biologist David Gruber says the next step in his research is to have the robot watch do a three D. Scan and D._N._A.. Swab of the Jellyfish David wants to understand how the animals are able to survive. They're changing environment but his worried page even the very resilient jellyfish might suffer considering how different the sea is becoming. I do see dramatic changes in the ocean and my philosophy is that everybody in the ocean is getting harmed by an unhealthy ocean. Nobody wants to live in a sick feted warm acidic ocean shen including jellyfish that story was reported by Gisela reggae tol. We're talking about oceans and exploring hiring how our presence impacts life underwater Rick Stafford is a Marine biologist at Bournemouth University in South West England along the Jurassic Harassing Coast and he's interested in one particular threat marine organisms phase noise. You can't really get away from noise anywhere on land in the U._K.. Heads underwater if there's no boats going past. It's a very natural sort of soundscape AAC. It's not silent his loss assassins so obviously when you're above the ocean your heared waves crashing your maybe water flow in window of the water. That's all Nice seems you put eh under completely different. It's as close to get to be a completely eighty two from work. There's nothing in the C. which is quite like on land so it's not completely silent but it's completely natural they do have to do is to Chevy Hidden Cole. They've clicking eh copied noise which most of the time actually comes from snape shrimp just sort of moving pinches. This is quite distinctive noise affective from code sound different from each other. You probably wouldn't pick lovers Human Tulsa fish for example. Can you can see that there's there's a tendency for fish to reproduce. They didn't have a pelagic phase ad in the water. No try to come back to coral reefs. They appear to be able to pick up on the sand band their home life the smell as well but also the sound and be able to move back towards that there is communication daughters where I guess the reason you didn't think about is fish didn't have ears. They have some equilateral line which will pick up on sand picks awesome fun vacation Simmons so away but some of the marine mammals who have his the Santa communicate things like boat noise uh other manmade underwater noise can disrupt similar communications they will it will prevent them from having each other guesses source to go to a public nightclub was which is now. You just can't hear what people say the other thing. I guess somebody like big shipping lanes. We have a lot of boats moving through at the same time so you've got persistent noise flies in the noisy again just from dive in the week. There's a boat came up with repave Lennon vide- very loud noise and you head. I guess there's a new voice of stress level. You know you're not used to hearing those noises and if they're constantly there same way as if car alarms go off or something outside if he keeps going on. It's going to annoy you. Eventually that was Marine Biologist Rick Stafford from Bournemouth University in in South West England Laura Irving produced. This piece seaweed farming specifically growing Kelp is having a bit the moment right now. Help is the new Kale. WHAT KELP is the new Eating lunch in his apartment that involves several different types of seaweed you know I grew up eating Japanese food. My great grandparents immigrated from Japan in the nineteen twenty. He's he rinses some green bits of seaweed for a salad he put slices of Calm A._C.. into a mizuho soup and he cuts strips of dried Chrissy we on top of Code Soba noodles right and we're good to go seaweed is a major part of Japanese cuisine. The varieties that brought us imported from Japan but seaweed farmers in the U._S. wants to grow more of it here and they say it should be a a big part of our diets earlier this year. I got on boats a check it out. I went to thimble island ocean farm off the coast of Connecticut they grow seaweed and who gets to go boating in January allowance sound except for us. Who is that Lucky Ron? Nutro is giving me a tour. His official title is senior farmer trader. He's been tending to this on the waterfall for years. They lease a swath of ocean from the town on the surface. All you see are bees and ropes. This is an obstacle course of ropes and things to get your propeller caught in. He cranks a handle lifting a rope out of the water and you see a green curtain of Kelp hanging down cal looks a little bit like Green Lasagna news with curly early edges farm manager Joe Pignataro explains it pretty much gross by itself. No fertilizer or human input needed. She says all you I need is a boat twenty acres and twenty thousand dollars that in itself makes it accessible for people to be able to do much less expensive than trying to start a landforms. The seaweed takes nutrients like nitrogen compounds from the water effectively cleaning the ocean it soaks up combi oxide which slows down climate climate change the seaweed is food for humans and also home for shrimp and tiny fish. We pull one up with the rest of the hall. Talk Right UH still alive or stopping wiggling in my hands the see we also grows alongside scallops and oysters so that's a bunch of oysters at our harvest size in a bag for an extra bonus the Oysters and seaweed can have solve some of the energy from storm surges and protect people living along the coast. That'll become more of a problem as sea levels rise. This farm is also also a floating classroom for farmers who wants to get into the seaweed business and there's a lot of interest in this back online. I catch up with Brent Smith breath. Though momentum's been unbelievable again we have <hes> request to start farms in every coastal state North America twenty countries around the world. He's one of the founders of of this farm and a leading advocate for this kind of farming where it's a win win for humans and the ocean broncos it restorative ocean farming and has done a lot of work to spread the word about it. He formed a nonprofit called green wave to promote restores have ocean farming. Now there are forms in in Connecticut Maine and Massachusetts were growing and people are eating it and this isn't like a cute little Brooklyn Farm Project Right <hes> creating little nice little bottles of of of honey at the farmer's market there are hundreds of thousands of pounds being produced and sold at this point in fact growing seaweed has become perhaps too popular popular the idea sort of took off before all the practical challenges can be addressed. That's Anouchka concepcion and assistant extension Educator Educator with the Connecticut Sea grant basically she works with seafood producers and researchers and answers questions about the latest technology and trends she says growing seaweed is a great idea. It's cheap slows. Climate change feeds people but the problem is we need more people to buy it. Farmers are finding finding it difficult now just to get rid of their seaweed. They can't get rid of it. She says usually the seafood business works like this always. Listen clams are sold right off a votes were dealer who sells them to restaurants. Dealers are not buying seaweed yet because there's no established market <hes> on their end. I tried to the Kelp. It's a little chewy when roar and fresh off the line it can be used as a possible substitute sauteed with butter and mushrooms or ground into powder to us as seasoning but it's just not not a mainstream food yet and there's another problem processing facilities. Here's Brent Smith Again Kelp for example which only has a shelf life of like a half half hour and getting out of the water and blanched within <hes> very quickly <hes> to stabilize it and that's just expensive. It's fine to do this on a small small-scale but once you get more and more farmers growing kelp you need big buildings of giant types of hot water and freezes the process it and keep it safe to heat Brennan says Connecticut doesn't have those yet so if a lot more people started growing more seaweed. That's a problem main. Thus have some of that infrastructure a structure built out just because they have a longer history of harvesting seaweed brand is one of the biggest Siwi advocates in the U._S. and even he acknowledges colleges. It's time to deal with growing pains in a way expectations have been set way too high. This is an exciting scalable replicable thing that can be a true climate at solution but it's GonNa be really hard work. He does disagree with ANNUSCHKA slightly so it's not about growing sort of <hes> slow and small because we only have thirty years to address the climate crisis right that that would have been great in the nineteen fifties he says climate change is such a big issue and to make this a reality galaxy. We need all hands on deck that means mobilising massive amounts of capital that means developing new skills underwater it means like you know developing developing a new generation of ocean <hes> farming scientists and economists and policymakers and people have to develop an appetite for Kelp Brennan says quite pointing also formless have gotten the taste for help but they need shafts and consumers to catch on that was Alan you reporting seaweed may not be that high in demand just yet but our appetites for seafood shore are growing global consumption has doubled doubled over the last fifty years aquiculture were farmers dig pools or stakeout parts of the ocean to breed fish and shellfish in captivity is is one way to keep Salman until happier on store shelves but conservationists have long been skeptical about the practice and whether it's really a solution to overfishing or making matters even worse Ellen Horn was one of those skeptics in fact observing aquiculture practices in Thailand filled her with so much dread she quit the field of conservation altogether. She told us what happened. Quesnoy always the shrimp farm being rated. I made this recording fifteen years ago at a shrimp farm near Thailand. I will never forget the stench bench shrimp farms shrimp floating on top. I've been to another shrimp farm and it's the same that other time I met met this shrimp farmer. He told US guide near the airport hooked him up with Shrimp Farm Kit and so he dug up a pool and the first year he made some money but not enough to pay the guy back and now look at it no matter how many antibiotics he added or how much air he pumped through the shrimp died new new plan is going to dig up another area and start over 'cause he's still owes money to the guy by the airport and he's going to need more antibiotics the kicker the place he's digging up. It's a mangrove forest within the mind garage as many different species of crabs my friend Duncan McRae a marine biologist walks us out along a path through the trees with this crazy looking root system long fingers poking into the mind you can hear the boat vote engines on the seas so close to us in only a few feet the mud become see I can see tons of boats just beyond that and open water mangrove grow forest sequester is more carbon than any other kind of forest today more than half of the world's mangroves have been cleared out to make way for shrimp firms and healthy mangroves are essential for coral reefs coral reefs occupy less than one percent of the ocean floor but they contain a quarter of all marine life making them the most biodiverse place on the planet. Many scientists think for coral reefs there is so much bad news use warming sees the signification of the oceans dissolved carbon dioxide is literally turning reefs to rebel and add to that shrimp farming for me that represented utter despair. I couldn't imagine what we could do to address this death spiral of killing mangroves groves and flooding the waters with antibiotics. The more I learned the more hopeless I felt and that day looking at those dying shrimp it seemed like conservation efforts were futile. These shrimp farmers were just people trying to make a living with aquaculture and in trying to farm the see here they are accelerating its destruction an oh that antibiotic Cherry on top of a trip to Thailand was the end for me. I left conservation season and became a radio producer but lately I've been hearing from a friend from high school about some new efforts to get smarter fast in the ocean and today with so much terrifying news about climate change what I'm hearing about aquaculture so full of hope and potential. It's changed how I feel about what's possible. I've started to think that aquaculture might have a role in conservation after all that's Ellen Horn. She was the executive producer of radio lab and she's now launched new production company story mechanics and we reached out to that friend Ellen mentioned mentioned her name is Amy Nova Kratz. She cofounded acquiesce bark which invests in sustainable aquaculture. Amy told me about ten years ago. She didn't have a clue about farming fish. She knew conservationists were pushing back against the practice but then she started hearing a different message pige look you you've been boohooing aquaculture. You've been saying it's a bad thing <hes> will you need to know that aquaculture is going to develop one way or or another so the smartest thing you could do is get involved in how it develops. Amy Says Aquaculture could be a great way to decrease overfishing and to feed need the earth's growing population when done right one of the big issues is how to feed the farmed fish. That isn't isn't taking away away from humans isn't using a lot of land water isn't wild caught. Fish is one of the big challenges so so feed ingredients are a big priority priority for us. We're investing in things like microbes insects and also <hes> plant based feed ingredients so you would you would use news insects or something else that's relatively easy to grow to feed to fish which then we can eat easy goosing overcrowding on fish farms if we got a better handle on aquaculture and if there was more sustainable aquaculture how how could that impact our oceans overall I mean I don't think people realize aquaculture is already bigger than wild caught fish. When it comes to human consumption we consume more more fish from aquaculture than we do from the ocean? Two thirds of our population are dependent on the ocean for their major source of protein. Were taking a lot a fish out of the ocean and in agriculture is growing. We need to triple it by twenty fifty to keep up with demand so getting it right making it more more efficient as this ideal source of producing animal protein. It saves us in a lot of ways. That's Amy Nova `grats. She's the the Co founder of oculus Bark. It's a company that invests in sustainable aquaculture they are based in the Netherlands coming up the healing power of the ocean. She stepped out of the ocean and she sounded like a different person. Sound like perfectly healthy the person that's next on the pope's. This is the pulse I might consider what we're talking about our relationship with the ocean so far we've mostly heard about how our footprint it's changing life in the see the ocean tied in so many big ways to our survival as a species but beyond that for many of us it feels is like a healing place. This is my favorite day of the year. I got my inner mermaid on the feeling that you never feel if you're not disabled. These happy sounds are from an annual event at the New Jersey shore called they will serve again where volunteers helped people with disabilities catch catch some waves randy's carol met one of the surfers Jack Kavanagh check suffered a brain injury in in college and says before days like today life was a bit monotonous then his physical therapist encouraged him to give surfing. Try Jack. You're it doing this. I can barely like walk as it is so now. They've got how Mejias Swim Jack is served here the last four years and he's made quite a name for himself his first year he came in a wheelchair but by second year he said he would walk through the event and and he did the next year he got up on his knees on the surfboard. Thanks so much freedom became and describe it and this I gave me just let taste of it again. After years of therapy Jackie now walk around without without too much help and turn came up to serve he quietly mentioned to me that he might try standing up on the board so I gathered around with a few other folks who were there to support him Jack the Jack Tell you you try to stand up today. He told me I was like did you tell people that he's like. I don't know and my dude. I might not WANNA try. Gentleman Jack is amazing you before we know it Jax riding a wave and all of a sudden he stands up yeah. I was not expecting that that was randy. Scott Carroll reporting at the New Jersey shore we're talking about our relationship with the ocean and its healing healing powers since I learned how to dive under the waves and listen to the Humpbacks I've spent my life in the ocean and in the outdoors outdoors it makes me live better and longer. That's the voice of Mallory Smith. She documented her struggles with cystic fibrosis. Aw It's twenty fourteen in Stanford California my lung function is forty eight percent retin just a little more little more Britain deep cystic fibrosis. This is a genetic disease it causes mucus to build up in the lungs and other organs. It's progressive and has no cure C._F.. Isn't a disease that you can forget got about until you get sick. It's the kind of disease you're fighting. Every minute of every day. It's armies gain on me with each passing year with the quantity and severity of complications snowballing as I get older mallory spent so much of her life being sick and in hospitals but mallory didn't let that stop her. She was a straight a student she graduated from Stanford. She worked in audio journalism. She had tons of friends she played sports and the ocean was always therapy for her. In more ways than one. Here's her mother Diane Shade or Smith when she was three four and five and she was diagnosed and we were just solely solely focused on keeping her healthy. We notice that when we went to Hawaii for that week or ten days that her symptoms were much less severe it was very dramatically radically noticeable and everybody in the family noticed it so we came back. We talked to the doctors about it and they didn't really have an explanation but shortly after that sometime in Molly's childhood they found found through a study that the kids Australia who served with cystic fibrosis did better than any other population of kids with C._F.. So we decided okay gave her as much access access to saltwater as we could and then pushed her into swimming and water polo and none of her friends were doing that because we knew that the swimming was equally as important and she fell in love with it she loves swimming. She loved water polo. She loved the ocean and then when she came to understand the benefits of serving she tried it and at that point she was obsessed and started surfing and served worked for the many years of life and what is the thinking behind surfing being beneficial so one of the treatments there to who treatments that kids do now routinely one is inhaling hypersonic saline through a nebulizer and the other one is using a nasal sinus wrench that has assault in it hypersonic sailing in in there because the unsophisticated non-medical way to describe it as to say that salt helps thin the mucus and so when she would go on the ocean she would tell me mom I would cough up all this mucus that had been lodged there and the reason surfing as opposed to standing in the ocean is the pounding of the waves that would dislodge the mucus and then the thinning of it from the salt water would help bring it up so she would bring up what was in her chest and and whatever was lodged in her sinus would always come out and she stepped out of the ocean and she sounded like a different person shall like perfectly healthy person in September of twenty seventeen gene mallory had a lung transplant but a superbug that had plagued her before the transplant resurfaced and overwhelmed her lungs and her entire system <hes> she died three weeks later. She was twenty five years old. After malary's death Diane started reading her daughter's journal thousands of pages US Mallory wrote about everything from her deepest fears to her life philosophy to being happy despite her disease it was the single the most incredible gift grieving mother could get Diane Works in publishing she edited Malary's Journal and published parts of it. Posthumously posthumously in a memoir called salt in my soul an unfinished life. It seems like Mallory also had a very spiritual connection to the <music> ocean and she she wrote about that Mallory loved the ocean and sometimes when we would fight or she would be upset about something she would run into the ocean and this was usually in the summer when we were staying near the beach or on a trip and she would go in the Ocean to cry and I didn't know it but she told me later she said the only place I feel really comfortable crying. Thing is in the ocean and she also was not somebody who wanted people to see her vulnerable sad depressed scared anxious side she had made this this decision to live happy and show the world the that side of her personality because she just didn't want to burden people with her disease and the ramifications of it. That's what she used her journal Foreign. That's what the book came from but she did have a moment in. I think it was twenty fourteen that is worth discussing because because she had been seriously ill and spent a lot of time in the hospital and lost what we like to call her Mojo and going into the Ocean helped her heal herself spiritually and physically so let's read from that passage okay I felt helpless and vulnerable and broken. I started to crumble rumble under water and the salty tears were mingling with the saltwater of the ocean and I was completely alone but then I wasn't I had excelled all of my breath so I could sink link down below the surface a bit and I was lying face up looking at the sky through the water and all of a sudden something appeared in my right field division this Hano this this green sea turtle swam up and got really close to me and just sort of stopped and hung there and stayed close and I was probably imagining this but it felt like it was looking at me not just looking at me but really seeing me and I looked back at this creature with its brown shell and cracked skin and large dark eyes and thought to myself that it had come along at that moment for a reason. I'm not a spiritual person but I had an epiphany that one sea turtle helped set me on the path to feeling whole again Diane Shade Smith edited and published her daughter Malary's memoir. It's called salt in my soul an unfinished life. It didn't really matter whatever she was doing. In the ocean she was always at her happiest and that's our our show for this week. The pulse is a production of W._H._y._y.. In Philadelphia our health and science reporters are Alan you Liz tongue jets Lehman and Steph if Yin Andreas copes is our inter we had production assistance from Julian Harris. Charlie clear is our engineer Lindsey Lazar. Ski Is our producer. I I Mike and Scott thank you for listening. Behavioral Vural Health reporting on the pulse is supported by the Thomas Scattered Good Behavioral Health Foundation an organization that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches approaches an integrated healthcare. W._H._y._y.'s health and science reporting is supported by a generous grant from the Public Health Management Corporations Public Health Fund Ph the H.. M. C. Gladly

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