Coastal ecosystem health is of vital importance to human well-being. Field investigations of major pollutants along the whole coast of China were carried out to explore associations between coastal development activities and pollutant inputs. Measurements of target pollutants such as PFAAs and PAHs uncovered notable levels in small estuary rivers. The Yangtze River was identified to deliver the highest loads of these pollutants to the seas as a divide for the spatial distribution of pollutant compositions. Soil concentrations of the volatile and semi-volatile pollutants showed a cold-trapping effect in pace with increasing latitudinal gradient. The coastal ecosystem is facing high ecological risks from metal pollution, especially copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn), while priority pollutants of high risks vary for different kinds of protected species, and the ecological risks were influenced by both climate and physicochemical properties of environmental matrices, which should be emphasized to protect and restore coastal ecosystem functioning.