A workshop on sediment chemistry was held at the U.S. Geological Survey National Headquarters in Reston, Virginia, February 8-12, 1982, to discuss the state of the science and possible future directions for research and operational programs in the Water Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey. Technical papers presented broad overviews of current conceptual models for and research on the interactions between sediments, water, and biota with respect to the occurrence, distribution, movement, and fate of metals and organic substances in aquatic systems. Five separate disciplines within the overall theme were discussed: physical and chemical partitioning of inorganic constituents; analysis association, and effects of organic constituents; bioavailability of sediment-bound metals; concepts and methods regarding physical properties of sediments; and simulation of transport-related properties. The discussions of the participants regarding needs and possible future directions are summarized. The papers and discussions should help guide individual investigators and policy/program managers alike for the next several years.