Calculated annual excess skin friction stress at various locations in Quincy Bay (outer Boston Harbor) was found to be correlated positively with sediment sand content. The correlation was optimized when a critical shear stress (??c) of 0.085 Pa was assumed for the bay. The excess shear stress was correlated negatively with sediment lead (Pb) and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations. These correlations suggest that area surveys of properties like sand content may be sufficient to estimate ??C.