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This project synthesizes portions of six projects that deal in diverse but complimentary aspects of sediments in Florida Bay, aiming at the development of a sediment budget for the lagoon/estuary system. The synthesis is process oriented, describing the mechanisms by which sediments are formed, moved and deposited to form mudbanks and islands. Management questions, such as the effects of sea-level rise on Florida Bay and expected impacts of increased fresh-water flows, should be answered by this project.

South Florida Ecosystem Restoration projects by Halley, Stumpf, Prager, Hansen, Holmes and Orem all deal with complementary aspects of sedimentation in the Bay. These can be interrelated by use of a sediment budget because 95-99% of the sediment in the Bay is produced by organisms that live in the environment. Individual project elements include the following processes: modem rates of carbonate sediment production from radiocarbon measurements and geochemical measurements (Halley), mineralogical and chemical composition (Orem, Prager, Holmes), processes of erosion and deposition (Prager), resuspension and transport (Prager, Stumpf), recent deposition (Holmes), and the geography and geometry of net accumulation (Hansen, Halley).