The concentrations of Zn, Cr, Cu, As, Cd, and Pb in sediment cores collected from a representative riverine wetland located in the Huaihe River watershed, China, dramaticlly increased from the bottom to upper layer of the cores. Application of principal component analysis (PCA) and enrichment factor (EF) suggested that heavy metals might primarily have been derived from the inflow of contaminated water from an industrial park and agricultural region. Component 1 of the PCA was dominated by Zn, Cr, Cu, Cd, and Pb, while Component 2 was dominated by As. Metals’ high concentrations and EF values showed that the anthropogenic pollutants have increased sharply in recent years and reflect the continuous development of industry and agriculture in the region of the wetland, with a corresponding dramatic deterioration of the environment due to constant effluent of pollutants. Cd exerted the highest potential ecological risk of individual metals of sediment cores. Additionally, integrated RI values for all metals indicated that sediments possessed low ecological risk from the bottom to about 6 cm depth of the cores, moderate ecological risk from about 5 cm depth upwards, then considerable ecological risk from 4 cm depth to the top layer of the sediment cores, which demonstrates a continuous deterioration of environmental quality in recent years in this region.