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The National Science Foundation is hoping that a $13-million initiative to fund seven new Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence COSEE will help to bring together ocean science researchers and educators to dramatically improve the public's awareness of oceans and the role they play in global environmental cycles and processes.

Funding for the regional centers and a central coordinating office was announced in December 2002, and the COSEE network held its initial organizational meeting on 3–4 March.