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Celebrate the Year of the Ocean

Year of the Ocean graphic

Salt water sloshes over almost 70 percent of our planet. We are such terrestrial creatures that we tend to forget how the ocean impacts life on Earth. As we pass through the influences of a particularly strong El Niño, this is a perfect year to remember that we live on a blue planet. The United Nations is reminding us by declaring 1998 as the International Year of the Ocean. Their hope is that governments, institutions, and individuals will act together to understand and protect our marine environment.

We are dependent on the ocean. The ocean modifies Earth’s climate and creates some of Earth’s most forceful weather. More than half of United States citizens live within 50 miles of the ocean, and about one out of every six jobs in the United States is marine related, according to Commerce Secretary William Daley. Even here, hundreds of miles from the ocean, we incorporate marine life in our diets, drugs, and homes. Did you know that ice cream and aspirin often contain seaweed products?

Become involved in the International Year of the Ocean! Activities include conferences, discussion groups, interactive research, beach cleanups, and even a ship relay that you can follow on the Internet. To learn more about the ocean and participate in “The Year of the Ocean” events, visit the Web Sites, www.enn.com/yoto/, www.yoto98.noaa.gov, and www.ocean98.org or call the toll-free number: 1-888-4yoto98. You can also write to: Ocean 98, Koopmanstraat 1, P.O. Box 5807, 2280 HV Rijswijk, Netherlands.


By Sea Grant Staff
June 1998

Return to June 1998 Seiche



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