The Pulse – August 1, 2014

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    The Pulse goes to the beach…

    Our first stop is Rockaway Beach, New York, where a group of surfers met last weekend to catch some waves. That’s not unusual, of course—Rockaway has big surf community—but last Sunday a lot of the participants were in wheelchairs. Surfing has emerged as a respected therapy tool for people trying to overcome physical and emotional injuries, and, as Pulse reporter Steve Trader found out, it certainly has the power to put smiles on faces.

    Sunscreen is sticky, oily, messy, and it severely restricts your beach bronzing, but the story of former sun worshipper Terri Stoakley from Dover, Delaware will have you thinking twice about leaving the house without some kind of sun protection. Terri’s spent much of the last five years battling a slow growing form of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma, and she tells us her story in her own words. Then we check in with Delaware dermatologist Michael Saruk for some sunscreen best practices.

    Ever been knocked down and brutalized by a small wave? Even knee-high swells can cause everything from sprained ankles to severed spinal cords close to shore, but at Delaware’s Cape Henlopen beach, a unique collaboration between coastal engineers and physicians is trying to employ technology to reduce the amount of surf zone injuries. Reporter Jessie McDonald has that story.

    Our next stop is Brigantine, New Jersey and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center—the 911 call center for sick and injured marine animals on the Jersey Shore. Elisabeth Perez Luna recently visited the Center, where marine mammals get a new lease on life, and took a tour with Robert Schoelkopf, the heart and soul of the unique operation.

    Many of Ocean County, New Jersey’s coastal communities here were devastated by hurricane Sandy, and many experts say the flooding and destruction was a taste of things to come. Now that the most pressing storm clean-up is done, coastal towns are faced with big questions of how to plan for the future. Pulse reporter Carolyn Beeler looks at how one town is preparing for rising seas, and why some say the state is moving in the opposite direction.

    No trip to the beach is complete without a game of frisbee, right? Pulse reporter Elana Gordon heads down to Wildwood, New Jersey and the 22nd Annual Wildwood Ultimate Tournament, to get some lessons on both the art and science of throwing a flying disc. Turns out, it’s all in the wrist.

    Also on this week’s show: identifying the origin of those countless sea shells at the water’s edge with malacologist Amanda Lawless from the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University, and predicting ocean temperatures weeks—or even months—before your next trip to the beach with coastal oceanographer Josh Kohut from Rutgers University.

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