Sequential extraction was used to study the mobility and ecological risk of chemical fractions of six heavy metals in sediments collected from the Pearl River Delta (PRE) in China. Results revealed that residual fractions (F4) were the dominant forms for Cr and Ni in surface sediments, indicating that they were primarily stable in nature and had low bioavailability and ecotoxicity. Cd had a high environmental risk owing to its higher availability in acid-soluble fraction (F1), whereas Pb occurred predominantly in the reducible fraction (F2) in surface sediments. The profile variations of bioavailable fractions were generally consistent with socioeconomic development in the Pearl River Delta (PRD). A decreasing trend after 2006 suggested a reduction in heavy metal bioavailable fractions owing to the removal of heavy polluting industries and the effective control of sewage discharge. The risk assessment code suggested that the high mobility of Cd posed an extremely high risk and a threat to the aquatic environment.