Estuaries and coastal environments are often regarded as a critical resource for the bioremediation of organic pollutants such as azo dyes due to their high abundance and diversity of extremophiles. Bioremediation through the activities of azoreductase, laccase, and other associated enzymes plays a critical role in the removal of azo dyes in built and natural environments. However, little is known about the biodegradation genes and azo dye degradation genes residing in sediments from coastal and estuarine environments. In this study, high-throughput sequencing (16S rRNA) of sediment DNA was used to explore the distribution of azo-dye degrading bacteria and their functional genes in estuaries and coastal environments. Unlike laccase genes, azoreductase (azoR), and naphthalene degrading genes were ubiquitous in the coastal and estuarine environments. The relative abundances of most functional genes were higher in the summer compared to winter at locations proximal to the mouths of the Hanjiang River and its distributaries. These results suggested inland river discharges influenced the occurrence and abundance of azo dye degrading genes in the nearshore environments. Furthermore, the azoR genes had a significant negative relationship with total organic carbon, Hg, and Cr (p < 0.05). This study provides critical insights into the biodegradation potential of indigenous microbial communities in nearshore environments and the influence of environmental factors on microbial structure, composition, and function which is essential for the development of technologies for bioremediation in azo dye contaminated sites.