The complex coastline of the Earth is over 400 000 km long and about 40% of the world's population lives within 100 km of the sea. Past characterizations of the global coastline were constructed either from a continental perspective through an analysis of watershed river basin properties (COSCAT: Coastal Segmentation and related CATchments) or from an oceanic perspective, through a regionalization of the proximal and distal continental margins (LME: Large Marine Ecosystems). Here, we present a global-scale coastal segmentation, composed of three consistent levels, that includes the whole aquatic continuum with its riverine, estuarine and shelf sea components. Our work delineates comprehensive ensembles which retain the most important physical characteristics of both the land and shelf areas. The proposed multi-scale segmentation results in a distribution of global exorheic watersheds, estuaries and continental shelf seas among 45 major zones (MARCATS: MARgins and CATchments Segmentation) and 149 sub-units (COSCATS). Geographic and hydrologic parameters such as the surface area, volume and fresh water residence time are calculated for each coastal unit as well as different hypsometric profiles. Our analysis provides detailed insights into the distributions of coastal and continental shelf areas and how they connect with incoming riverine fluxes. These results can be used for regional analyses and combined with various typologies for upscaling and biogeochemical budgets. In addition, the three levels segmentation can be used for application in Earth System analysis.