More than 60% of the world’s population lives in coastal areas, which are densely populated, fertile and have high economic activity. These areas face constant dilemmas between the need to preserve the natural environment and the many interests that drive coastal development, such as industry, housing, shipping and recreation. Managing conflicting interests is also a key to coastal zone management. Changes and their impact on the different functions have to be anticipated. At the same time ecological needs must be taken into account. Our approach to coastal risk management starts with understanding the natural processes at work and the interactions between these forces and the built and natural environment. The influence of climate change on tidal levels and wave height is a key factor in this assessment.