The Kavala Prefecture, part of the Region of East Macedonia and Thrace, has a total area of 2 109 km² (1 729 km² on the mainland and 380 km² on the island of Thassos), a coastline some 250 km in length and a population of 140 000. The coastal zone of Kavala can be divided into four parts:
- The rapidly developing tourism areas in the western part of the prefecture, where tourism is linked mainly to local summer accommodation development schemes.
- The urban areas around the capital city of Kavala, which chiefly consists of residential estates on the higher ground (suburbs), the commercial centre and the old town, and the port to the east which is a fishing harbour. Nearby are traditional tobacco processing activities, sports facilities and light industry.
- The eastern part of the prefecture has a mixture of heavy industry, oil processing facilities, chemical industry, new port development and, further to the east, unspoilt and underdeveloped beaches, a nature reserve, the Nestos delta and protected forests.
- The island of Thassos which is a tourist resort with very beautiful beaches and rugged topography (relatively high for a small island - 1600 m). Thassos also has some mines which produce the famous Thassos white marble. There are oil drilling facilities between Thassos and the bay of Kavala. Because the coastal zone comprises a large variety of areas with their own specific problems (need for enforcement of building regulations, rapid seasonal population increase in sensitive areas, impact of new infrastructure projects like the Egnatia Highway, the port of Kavala, fishing harbours, airport extension), it is essential to propose an integrated management plan.