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    Harmful Elements in Estuarine and Coastal Systems

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    Estuaries and coastal zones are dynamic transitional systems which provide many economic and ecological benefits to humans, but also are an ideal habitat for other organisms as well. These areas are becoming contaminated by various anthropogenic activities due to a quick economic growth and urbanization. This chapter explores the sources, chemical speciation, sediment accumulation and removal mechanisms of the harmful elements in estuarine and coastal seawaters. It also describes the effects of toxic elements on aquatic flora and fauna. Finally, the toxic element pollution of the Venice Lagoon, a transitional water body located in the northeastern part of Italy, is discussed as a case study, by presenting the procedures adopted to measure the extent of the pollution, the impacts on organisms and the restoration activities