Concern over the environmental condition of the Black Sea has increased markedly since the recent political changes in eastern Europe, as the extent of degradation has become clearer. This concern has led to the creation of the Cooperative Marine Science Program for the Black Sea (CoMSBlack) (Figure la), an interdisciplinary, international marine science program that provides the highest quality of oceanographic science for effective and integrated management of the Black Sea.

A complex program of investigation has been outlined by the major marine research organizations of the Black Sea riparian countries, as well as the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and other western research laboratories. A series of meetings is being held to clarify the role of CoMSBlack in Black Sea research as well as the sea's role in major international research efforts. Changes in the Black Sea riparian countries have simplified integrated science