Take away the oceans and the planet is a dry, barren place, unable to support the multitudes of species -- including humans -- who rely on the rich marine resources the ocean provides.
Almost three-quarters of the planet is covered by water, and that water's vital importance to daily life is the focus of this year's Earth Day, which comes during the International Year of the Ocean.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Daley will talk about the ocean's importance to the environment and to trade on Earth Day, April 22.
Secretary Daley will be in the Florida Keys to help honor NOAA's Environmental Heroes. Every year, NOAA singles out people whose dedication of time and energy have helped the environment.
Eighth-grade students from the Florida Keys will be conducting an Earth Day study with scientists by taking water samples near the coral reef to determine how the changing environment is affecting the reef.
For more information, contact:
Matt Stout, 202-482-0030
--March 16-17: JASON project
--March 23: WORLD METEOROLOGICAL DAY
--April 24: EARTH DAY
--May-September: EXPO 98: "Oceans, A Heritage for the Future, Lisbon, Portugal
-- June 8 -OCEANS DAY
--June 11-12 - National Oceans Conference, Monterey
-- July 1-14 - THE GREAT AMERICAN FISH COUNT
Visit the web site at http://www.yoto98.noaa.gov
Contact: Matthew Stout
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration