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Abstract

Earth looks like a beautiful blue marble from space. What makes it so blue? The ocean! Ocean covers 70% of our planet. More than a third of the world’s population lives close to the ocean.  But the ocean impacts all of us! Marine and coastal habitats provide us with many things such as food, transport, protection from floods, and the chance for some fun activities. Yet, these human uses can harm ocean habitats and put them at risk. To continue receiving these benefits, we need to look after ocean habitats. In this study, we used a mathematical model to understand human threats to the Atlantic coast of the United States. We looked at different causes of risk and their combined effects on habitats. We found that rising sea surface temperatures and commercial fishing are the major threats. Also, the habitats on the coastline and a narrow offshore (out at sea) region are at greatest risk. We suggest ways to reduce these risks.

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