This paper illustrates a typology of 14 natural and anthropogenic hazards, the evidence for their causes and consequences for society and their role as vectors of change in estuaries, vulnerable coasts and marine areas. It uses hazard as the potential that there will be damage to the natural or human system and so is the product of an event which could occur and the probability of it occurring whereas the degree of risk then relates to the amount of assets, natural or societal, which may be affected. We give long- and short-term and large- and small-scale perspectives showing that the hazards leading to disasters for society will include flooding, erosion and tsunamis. Global examples include the effects of wetland loss and the exacerbation of problems by building on vulnerable coasts. Hence we emphasise the importance of considering hazard and risk on such coasts and consider the tools for assessing and managing the impacts of risk and hazard. These allow policy-makers to determine the consequences for natural and human systems. We separate locally-derived problems from large-scale effects (e.g. climate change, sea-level rise and isostatic rebound); we emphasise that the latter unmanaged exogenic pressures require a response to the consequences rather than the causes whereas within a management area there are endogenic managed pressures in which we address both to causes and consequences. The problems are put into context by assessing hazards and the conflicts between different uses and users and hence the management responses needed. We emphasise that integrated and sustainable management of the hazards and risk requires 10-tenets to be fulfilled.