This technical characterization report provides a comprehensive compilation of information on key issues related to water quality and natural resources in the estuaries of New Hampshire. The report has identified some significant issues and problems facing these estuaries that will require management attention. Issues common to estuaries across the nation have been addressed to varying extents, depending on their significance in New Hampshire. Much of the trend information is biased by the sporadic interest given to the different resources and water quality issues through the years. Studies have focused to differing extents on the various areas of the coast, providing more information and better documentation where greater scrutiny was given. Problems have been identified in relation to accepted standards where possible to provide the basis for developing a clearer vision for the future of New Hampshire's coastal resources and water quality.