This report summarizes the results of NOAA's sediment toxicity, chemistry, and benthic community studies in the Chesapeake Bay estuary. As part of the National Status and Trends (NS&T) Program, NOAA has conducted studies to determine the spatial extent and severity of chemical contamination and associated adverse biological effects in coastal bays and estuaries of the United States since 1991. Sediment contamination in U.S. coastal areas is a major environmental issue because of its potential toxic effects on biological resources and often, indirectly, on human health. Thus, characterizing and delineating areas of sediment contamination and toxicity and demonstrating their effect(s) on benthic living resources are viewed as important goals of coastal resource management. Benthic community studies have a history of use in regional estuarine monitoring programs and have been shown to be an effective indicator for describing the extent and magnitude of pollution impacts in estuarine ecosystems, as well as for assessing the effectiveness of management actions.