Fluctuations in sea level and impending development on the west coast of Florida have aroused concern for the relatively pristine tidal marshes of the Big Bend. Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images for 1986 and 1995 are processed and evaluated for signs of change. The images cover 250 km of Florida's Big Bend Gulf Coast, encompassing 160,000 acres of tidal marshes. Change is detected using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land cover classification. The imagery shows negligible net loss or gain in the marsh over the 9-year period. However, regional changes in biomass are apparent and are due to natural disturbances such as low winter temperatures, fire, storm surge, and the conversion of forest to march. Within the marsh, the most prominent changes in NDVI and in land cover result from the recovery of mangroves from freezes, a decline of transitional upland vegetation, and susceptibility of the marsh edge and interior to variations in tidal flooding.