Distributions of phosphorus and nitrogen in New England coastal waters at various times of year are described. In surface waters the nitrate-nitrogen content is sometimes completely exhausted, even though small concentrations (0.2-0.5µg-at/l) of phosphorus are always available. The ratio of concentrations by atoms, N:P, varies in surface waters from maximum values of about 10: 1 to values approaching zero as the nitrate is exhausted....