The results of the research effort culminated in the development of a research method for assessing the chronic toxicity of contaminated marine and estuarine sediments using the benthic amphipod, Leptocheirus plumulosus. The first chapter describes the efforts at collecting, handling, and culturing four estuarine amphipods from Chesapeake Bay, including L. plumulosus. This chapter includes maps of the distribution and abundance of these amphipods within Chesapeake Bay and methodologies for establishing cultures of amphipods which could be readily adopted by other laboratories. The second chapter reports the development of acute and chronic sediment toxicity test methods for L. plumulosus, its sensitivity to non-contaminant environmental variables, cadmium, two polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, and contaminated sediment from Baltimore Harbor, MD. The third chapter reports the authors attempts to develop a chronic sediment toxicity test with Ampelisca abdita.