Introduction: During the 20th century, tourism growth in coastal areas has produced growth of population and of town planning. It created new stakes in those places. Moreover in February 2010, the devastation caused by the storm Xynthia, especially in Vendée and Charente-maritime (France), has effected a strengthening of coastal risk management policies. The workload of local managers has evolved consequently. Now they have to integrate risks management into daily operations. This implies an interest in populations. Most especially on social representations of their environment and translation of coastal risks. Populations could indeed be source of both risks and issues.

Method: Our survey fits within the framework of an interdisciplinary research (ethnology, economy, geography, geology, environmental psychology…). It explores management of coastal risks, most especially erosion and flood, in relation to evolutions of the coastline. On our part, we are studying social representations of environment from people who live on coastal areas. Most especially the place of coastal risks in those social representations. For this, we selected two littoral towns defined as “risk areas” - Île-Tudy (Finistère, France) and Pénestin (Morbihan, France). The risk is, for us, a social construction based on interpersonal interactions and on the relations between individual and his environment. That's why we rely on social representations theory (Moscovici, 1976), and on place identity theory (Proshansky, 1974). Our starting point is that the relationship between populations and coastal risks belongs to specific environmental and social factors. With this in mind, we made several assumptions which have been subjected to surveys and a questionnaire. This one was conducted with residents of Île-Tudy and of Pénestin during summer 2012. There were about thirty questions covering several themes: habitation (what sort, motivations for living here...), relation with the town (projects, activities, attachment...), risks on the town (what sort of risks can it have), coastal risks (experience, opinion...), and then, management of coastal risks (managers' legitimacy, relevance of actions...).

Results: For the 23rd IAPS conference we propose to present results. Indeed, those analyses confirmed the validity of our hypothesis. For example, one of them is the importance of relation to the sea. Based on our results, people who recognize the sea as an important part of their environment or people who see themselves as leaving close of the sea, are more likely to consider been exposed to coastal risks. One other is the importance of the relationship with municipalities. Our results indicate that the more people have a positive perception of the municipality and of managers – especially the local mayor and the city council – and the more they are attached to their environment, the less they will consider existence of coastal risk in this area. Presenting our survey, we will demonstrate that relationship between people and coastal risks depend from the way in which they grasp and use their environment.