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In global coastal zones, the major fabric of goods and services for human welfare as well as global changes are extraordinarily visible. They are shaped by natural Earth systems processes on a planetary scale, which are reflected in a continuously adapting coastal environment. Now, in the "Anthropocene", human society is a greater catalyst for change - impacting and modifying coastal processes. This book synthesizes knowledge on coastal and riverine material fluxes, biogeochemical processes and indications of change, and the human influence, before looking at future research and management needs. It is a milestone rather than a destination on the journey which continues under the new International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) and the LOICZ II (Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone) Project.