The joint IMBeR-Future Earth Coasts Continental Margins working group aims to address global, regional, local, and human pressures interactively affecting continental margin biogeochemical cycles, marine food webs, and society. Continental margins cover only 12% of the global ocean area yet account for more than 30% of global oceanic primary production. In addition, continental margins are the most intensely used regions of the ocean for natural commodities, including food production and catches, and mineral and petroleum resources. The land adjacent to continental margins hosts ~50% of the world’s population, which will bear many direct impacts of global change on coastal margins. Understanding both naturally and human- influenced alterations of biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems on continental margins and the processes (including feedbacks) that threaten sustainability of these systems is therefore of global interest.