WATERSHED MANAGERS are interested in using economics to communicate the value of estuarine resources to the wider community, determine the most cost-effective means to reduce , and evaluate the benefits of taking action to improve coastal ecosystems. We spoke to coastal watershed managers who had commissioned economic studies and found that they were largely satisfied with the information and their ability to communicate the importance of coastal ecosystems. However, while managers were able to use these studies as communication tools, methods used in some studies were inconsistent with what some economists consider best practices. In addition, many watershed managers are grappling with how to implement nitrogen management activities in a way that is both cost-effective and achieves environmental goals, while maintaining public support. These and other issues led to this project. Our primary intent is to provide information to watershed managers and others interested in watershed management - such as National Estuary Programs, local governments, or nongovernmental organizations - on economic tools for managing nitrogen in coastal watersheds. Our second intent is to inform economists and other analysts who are interested in assisting them in meeting their needs. In order to learn more about how economics has been used by watershed managers and the purposes for conducting studies, we interviewed staff at eight coastal watershed management entities. The interviews focused on management questions related to nitrogen in estuaries and the economic analyses that have been done or could be done to assist in nitrogen management.1 The research was conducted via one-hour structured telephone discussions. In these discussions, we asked managers about their needs with regard to nitrogen management and the use of economic analyses, and found that many estuarine watershed managers are grappling with similar questions.