The dumping of dredged sediments represents a major stressor for coastal ecosystems. The impact on the ecosystem function is determined by its complexity not easy to assess. In the present study, we evaluated the potential of bacterial community analyses to act as ecological indicators in environmental monitoring programmes. We investigated the functional structure of bacterial communities, applying functional gene arrays (GeoChip 4.2). The relationship between functional genes and environmental factors was analysed using distance-based multivariate multiple regression. Apparently, both the function and structure of the bacterial communities are impacted by dumping activities. The bacterial community at the dumping centre displayed a significant reduction of its entire functional diversity compared with that found at a reference site. DDX compounds separated bacterial communities of the dumping site from those of un-impacted sites. Thus, bacterial community analyses show great potential as ecological indicators in environmental monitoring.