Deep-sea Coral Reefs // Mineral-Mining

This week’s How On Earth offers two features:

Deep-sea Coral
photo credit: NOAA

Deep-sea coral reef discovery (start time: 0:58)  Scientists recently discovered and mapped the largest known deep-sea coral reef in the world. It’s located up to 200 miles off the U.S. Atlantic Coast, and it’s larger than Vermont. The news comes as a bright spot for oceans and marine life, when ocean acidification related to global warming, as well as overfishing, have been destroying coral reefs around the world. Contributing host Kara Fox interviews Kasey Cantwell, the operations chief for the Expeditions and Exploration Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, about the big discovery and its implications.

Deep-sea mineral nodules
photo credit: NOAA

Deep-sea mining: promises and perils (start time: 10:48)  Exploratory mining of the ocean floor for minerals began decades ago. Although commercialization remains elusive, some some companies are moving rapidly to exploit the seabed for commercial use. They aim to harness critical minerals – manganese, nickel, copper, cobalt and others for use in the production of electric vehicle batteries, cell phones, wind turbines, etc. Some scientists, environmentalists, a regulatory body, and even some auto and tech companies, have called for at least a temporary ban on seabed mining, out of concern about its impact on marine life. Host Kara Fox interviews Farah Obaidullah, founder of the conservation group The Ocean and Us, and editor of a book of the same name, about seabed mining.

Hosts/Producers: Kara Fox, Susan Moran
Engineer: Sam Fuqua
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

Listen to the show here:


The Ocean Is Us #1 : Teens4Oceans – Marine Science Education

high school students measuring a juvenile green sea turtle off of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands
high school students measuring a juvenile green sea turtle off of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands
Photo courtesy of Mikki McComb-Kobza

Teens4Oceans (starts at 9:15): Today, we’re kicking off a series of interviews on the show called The Ocean Is Us. We’ll explore how all of us living in land-locked Colorado are connected to the ocean — whether it’s through our watershed that flows into the Gulf of Mexico, or the fish we buy at the grocery store, or the carbon dioxide we emit that acidifies the oceans. Teens4Oceans is a nonprofit organization based in Colorado that is inspiring teenagers nationwide to become passionate ocean lovers and scientists through experiential learning — doing real marine research in the field.

How On Earth’s Susan Moran interviews Mikki McComb-Kobza, a marine biologist and executive director of Teens4Oceans, and Shelby Austin, who recently graduated from Ralston Valley High School in Arvada. For more information on our inland connection to the ocean and you can get involved, visit Colorado Ocean Coalition. And check out KGNUs year-long series, called Connecting the Drops, on Colorado water issues, at and

All features in The Ocean Is Us  series can be found here.

Hosts: Susan Moran and Joel Parker
Producer: Kendra Krueger
Engineer: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

Listen to the show: