Nine trace elements of biological concern: Cr, Co, Cu, Cd, Ni, Pb, Hg, Zn and Ag were investigated in the sediments of the most important coastal steams in Israel. All of these are subjected to some degree of domestic and/or industrial sewage input with the consequent liability of contamination by trace metals. The Ayyalon, Gadura, Qishon and locally the Hadera rivers contain sediments exhibiting severe pollution effects. There is a danger of infiltration through the soils into the groundwaters as well as exposing nearshore fauna to sediments contaminated by possibly toxic trace metals. The other rivers bear smaller levels of trace metals; however, an increase of the Pb and the Zn levels occurs near major highways.