Since 1976, the U.S. Department of Energy has sponsored a multidisciplinary research program to determine the physical processes which drive circulation and control the chemistry and biology of the continental shelf waters off the southeastern United States (Figure 1). This area extends from Cape Hatteras, N.C., to Cape Canaveral, Fla. (often called the South Atlantic Bight (SAB)). Knowledge gained about water circulation across the shelf and at the western edge of the Gulf Stream has been used by cooperating investigators (Table 1) and others to describe the circulation of shelf water, to determine where and how certain trace elements are transported and transformed, and to relate the circulation regime to biological production. The following description of the program is presented under three headings: circulation, trace element geochemistry, and food chain dynamics.