Acoustic reflection loss at normal incidence from a sandy sediment, in the Biodola Gulf on the north side of the island of Elba, Italy, was measured in the frequency band 8-17 kHz, using a self-calibrating method. The water depth was approximately 11 m. The mean and standard deviation of the sand grain diameter were 2.25 (0.21 mm) and 0.6 phi, respectively. The reflection loss was measured using an acoustic intensity integral method, which is insensitive to roughness effects within the selected frequency band. The measured value of reflection loss was 11 dB, +/- 2 dB. The result is consistent with previous measurements in the published literature. The computed reflection loss for a flat interface between water and a uniform fluid or visco-elastic medium with the same properties is 8 dB, +/- 1 dB. The theoretical and experimental values do not significantly overlap, which leads to the conclusion that the visco-elastic model is inappropriate. The Biot model is suggested as a better alternative but more work is needed to ascertain the appropriate parameter values.