The ocean color component of the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET-OC) has been implemented to support long-term satellite ocean color investigations through cross-site consistent and accurate measurements collected by autonomous radiometer systems deployed on offshore fixed platforms. The AERONET-OC data products are the normalized water-leaving radiances determined at various center wavelengths in the visible and near-infrared spectral regions. These data complement atmospheric AERONET aerosol products, such as optical thickness, size distribution, single scattering albedo, and phase function. This work describes in detail this new AERONET component and its specific elements including measurement method, instrument calibration, processing scheme, quality assurance, uncertainties, data archive, and products accessibility. Additionally, the atmospheric and bio-optical features of the sites currently included in AERONET-OC are briefly summarized. After illustrating the application of AERONET-OC data to the validation of primary satellite products over a variety of complex coastal waters, recommendations are then provided for the identification of new deployment sites most suitable to support satellite ocean color missions.