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1998 was dubbed International Year of the Ocean (YOTO) by the United Nations (UN). The oceans are a dominant aspect of our world and environment so the UN wanted to promote public awareness and understanding of them. Ocean-related headlines had been dominating newspaper headlines such as El Niño, hurricanes, and the rising sea levels. The UN hoped to encourage citizens around the globe to learn more and become interested in oceans as they effect the climate and weather, provide food and oxygen as well as jobs, and are home to such diverse life. Participating countries around the globe had activities and events planned to engage its residents to want to help protect oceans.