At ecosystem level, sandy beaches, dune fields, cliffs, and marine terraces are the main physiographic units which characterize the coastal fringe of central Chile. Natural hazards - storm surges, tsunamis, and heavy rains - may induce risks of flooding, erosion, mudflow, and mass movement for human settlements. Land use, in particular related to the recent tourist boom, as well as induced environmental degradation are reviewed. The legal framework for seaside human occupation is critically examined. Recommendations for a better development are proposed only.