Abstract The distribution of Ni, Co, Fe, Mn, Cu, Pb and Zn was investigated in surface and core sediment samples and i n the leaves of the red mangrove ( Rhizophora mangle) from Levisa Bay, an area affected by nickel mining and metallurgical activities. The results revealed that these activities have seriously polluted the sediments, especially by Ni. Fe, Co and Mn, with concentrations decreasing with increasing distance from discharge sources. The concentrations of Fe (0.64-22.66%) and Co. Mn and Ni (7.7–324, 125–2957 and 69–4764 μ/g, respectively) were up to two orders of magnitude greater than those of non-polluted coastal areas in Cuba. Rhizophora mangle was shown to be a useful bioindicator of heavy metal pollution in the studied ecosystem.