Clean air and clean water are critical requirements for environmental sustainability. To assure the quality of these matrices, we currently rely upon a broad range of monitoring techniques - many of which are outdated, unreliable, or excessively expensive. Recent advances in both nanotechnology and biotechnology, however, are poised to provide novel and previously unattainable alternatives that have the potential to be more sensitive as well as more cost-effective than many existing methods. In this presentation, we will present work conducted to develop gold enabled plasmonic platforms that facilitate detection of inorganic, organic, biologic, and nanoparticulate contaminants. As will be shown, both light spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy can be used to detect and quantify environmental contaminants in a range of different media. A particular focus will be on detection of antibiotic resistance genes in water.