The present study contributes to the knowledge of the biogeochemistry of Pb, Cd, Cu, and Ni in the Mediterranean Thau Lagoon, southern France, which is an important shellfish farming system. The concentrations of the metals were determined in sediment cores and the overlying waters using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Particular attention was given to the determination of dissolved Cu species because of their dual role as essential nutrient and toxicant to planktonic organisms. Dissolved Cu speciation was determined using the diffusive gradient in thin-film technique (DGT) and competitive ligand exchange–adsorptive cathodic stripping voltammetry (CLE-ACSV). Our data indicated a significant historical contamination of the sediments, which commenced in the second half of the 19th century, with trace metal inputs persisting until the end of the 20th century. In recent years a decrease in metal contamination has become apparent. The maxima observed for Pb, Cd, and Cu profiles probably indicate the occurence of anoxia crises. A strong complexation of the dissolved Cu species was observed in the waters of the Thau Lagoon, which reduced the bioavailability of Cu. The dissolved Cu2 concentrations were probably too low to cause direct toxic effects on shellfish, but the highest concentration (5.29 pM) observed in this study can potentially influence phytoplankton communities. A comparison between the Cu speciation data indicates that up to 50% of the complexed Cu determined using CLE-ACSV was DGT labile.