is vital to life on earth. From the life-giving rain that nourishes crops, to life-saving medicines; from the fish that come from the ocean floor, to the goods that are transported on the sea's surface - the ocean plays a role in your life in some way every day.
In recognition of the importance of the marine environment, the United Nations declared 1998 the International Year of the Ocean (YOTO). This designation provides individual organizations and governments with an important opportunity to raise public awareness and understanding of the ocean and related issues.
The United States is participating in YOTO activities through the Ocean Principals Group, an informal group of federal agencies with ocean interests.
Learn more about Year of the Ocean activities and opportunities on this Web site.