The presentation of the methodological approach for the environmental protection and the sustainable development of sensitive areas concerns the study and evaluation of existing land uses, definition of protected areas and regeneration on both sides of the riverbed (Zone of Residential Control, Zone of Wider Preservation and Zone of Total Preservation) and the proposal for new land uses.This presentation refers to the results of university researches including the analysis and the proposals of the land uses, as well as some local interventions for the environmental protection and sustainable development of the riverside zones in the coastal region of Crete.The research has followed two stages: - The survey of existing situation, the representation of land uses marking the activities and the particularities of the area after a close examination on the spot. Main target of the research is to take strong measures and to study the necessary arrangements in a way that • They allow the rehabilitation of the negative results of human interventions• They protect the area and prevent it from the negative consequences.• They create the suitable conditions for the protection of future distractions.- The proposals for the conservation, the arrangement or the change of some uses for the protection of the environment and the sustainable development, in the limits of feasibility. The concrete interventions ensure the viability by protecting and taking precaution against any future arbitrary activities.Concerning the rivers there is the composition of the final plan of land uses as well as the definition, documentation and general planning of the proposed local interventions and new uses (ecological parks, sports and recreational activities, horse riding club, centers of environmental training and education, routed nature walks, an amphitheatre etc.). Also, the proposals concern the sustainable development of the riverbed and the preservation of the urban and suburban areas of the city of Heraklion in addition to the development of the river estuary. The intervention that was realized consists of the creation of a breakwater jetty (made of natural stone), for protection of the riverbed and the estuary as well, and a small port for fishing boats and recreational vessels in order to accommodate the west tourist zone of Heraklion.