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"If the last blue whale choked to death on the last panda, it would be disastrous but not the end of the world. But if we accidentally poisoned the last two species of ammonia-oxidizers, that would be another matter. It could be happening now and we wouldn't even know..."
                                  ---
Microbiologist Tom Curtis in Nature, 2006

Most marine microbes are marine organisms too small to be seen by the unaided human eye (that is, roughly less than 0.1 mm). They make up 98 percent of ocean biomass, are the foundation of all marine food webs, and are a major driver of most of Earth’s biogeochemical cycles, including those of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorus (not to mention those of sulfur, hydrogen, sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chlorine).

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Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of tools and methods for facilitating EBM and MSP processes. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network (www.ebmtools.org), a voluntary alliance of tool users, developers, and training providers.

In 2016, the EBM Tools Network compiled a list of hands-on activities for teaching about ecosystem services and ecosystem-based management (now updated with several more activities!). A university professor recently asked if we have any similar resources for teaching marine protected area (MPA) design and management. EBM Tools Network members pooled their collective knowledge again and came up with this fantastic list of resources for teaching about MPAs at all educational levels.

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The last two issues of MEAM featured two Skimmers chock full of cutting edge research and insights from some of our climate change researcher heroes. If you didn’t have a chance to check them out yet, we highly recommend doing so now!

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Editor’s note: The Skimmer is a MEAM feature where we briefly review the latest news and research on a topic. This Skimmer features new research and insights presented at the 4th International Symposium on Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans (ECCWO), held in June 2018 in Washington, DC. In last month’s MEAM, we covered new research on how weather and climate extremes are impacting marine ecosystems, as well as some climate change tools and resources, presented at the symposium. This month we examine what practitioners can do about it.

Marine species just are not where they used to be: Managing and conserving species on the move

  • The problem: Much of current conservation action is based on maintaining species in the same places they have been located historically and at roughly the same levels of abundance. Marine resource management, likewise, is based on historical assumptions about where species are and in what numbers. But we are currently seeing big geographical shifts in marine populations in response to climate change, sometimes across political and management boundaries. How in the world can we deal with this?
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Editor’s Note: In June 2018, US President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13840 Ocean Policy To Advance the Economic, Security, and Environmental Interests of the United States. This executive order formally revokes Executive Order 13547 Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes, issued in July 2010 by former US President Barack Obama. MEAM interviewed Sarah Winter Whelan, director of the American Littoral Society's Ocean Policy Program and Healthy Oceans Coalition, about what these changes mean for ocean planning in the US, including existing regional ocean plans.

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Editor’s note: The Skimmer is a MEAM feature where we briefly review the latest news and research on a topic. Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the 4th International Symposium on Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans (ECCWO)[1], held in Washington, DC. This symposium gathered scientists and managers from more than 50 nations to discuss the latest science on climate change impacts on ocean ecosystems, identify climate risks and knowledge gaps, and determine best ways to respond to sustain ocean resources and communities. Here is a quick summary of some recent and brand new research findings presented at the symposium on how weather and climate extremes are impacting marine ecosystems, as well as insights shared by speakers. (Learn about climate change tools and resources presented at the symposium in this month’s EBM Toolbox). Part 2 of the Skimmer, coming out next month, will feature more research and insights from ECCWO on how we can manage and conserve ocean ecosystems in a rapidly changing climate.

We know that extreme weather events (such as marine heatwaves) and other climate change-associated effects (including ocean warming, ocean deoxygenation, and ocean acidification) are dramatically altering marine ecosystems. But we are still figuring out the how, how much, and why of these changes. Some perspectives on what we know and what we still need to know:

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