Light emerging from natural water bodies and measured by remote sensing radiometers contains information about the local type and concentrations of phytoplankton, non-algal particles and colored dissolved organic matter in the underlying waters. An increase in spectral resolution in forthcoming satellite and airborne remote sensing missions is expected to lead to new or improved capabilities to characterize aquatic ecosystems. Such upcoming missions include NASA's Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) Mission; the NASA Surface Biology and Geology observable mission; and NASA Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer – Next Generation (AVIRIS-NG) airborne missions. In anticipation of these missions, we present an organized dataset of geographically diverse, quality-controlled, high spectral resolution inherent and apparent optical property (IOP/AOP) aquatic data. The data are intended to be of use to increase our understanding of aquatic optical properties, to develop aquatic remote sensing data product algorithms, and to perform calibration and validation activities for forthcoming aquatic-focused imaging spectrometry missions. The dataset is comprised of contributions from several investigators and investigating teams collected over a range of geographic areas and water types, including inland waters, estuaries and oceans. Specific in situ measurements include coefficients describing particulate absorption, particulate attenuation, non-algal particulate absorption, colored dissolved organic matter absorption, phytoplankton absorption, total absorption, total attenuation, particulate backscattering, and total backscattering, as well as remote-sensing reflectance, and irradiance reflectance. The dataset can be downloaded from https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.902230 (Casey et al., 2019).