Earth is sometimes called the "Blue Planet," calling to mind the oceans that cover most of its surface. But is becoming increasingly clear that these oceans, though vast, are not an inexhaustible resource. Overfishing, pollution, and other changes in the environment pose growing threats to the health of marine ecosystems and the life they support. Reports of depleted fisheries, disease outbreaks, and public health warnings are on the rise. In recognition of the roles that oceans play in shaping life on our planet, the United Nations has designated 1998 as the International Year of the Ocean. This edition of the Endangered Species Bulletin takes a look at U.S. efforts to conserve the endangered and threatened life of marine and related coastal ecosystems.