Estimating the Stokes vector components of the polarized water radiance from above water measurements is a challenging task, mainly because of their small magnitude and the strong contamination by the sky light reflected on the sea surface. Consequently, in most applications the Stokes vector components are considered equal to zero except of I, the total reflectance. In this study, both below and above water measurements are used to assess the feasibility of such retrievals and their use to determine the water composition. In-water inherent optical properties (IOPs) were measured with commercially available instrumentation. In addition, in-water polarization characteristics were measured by our multi-angular hyperspectral sensor which provided the Stokes components for a scattering angles range of the 0-180° and a full spectral range between 400 and 750 nm. Second, a customized HyperSAS (Satlantic) instrument is used from the coastal platform in Long Island Sound, NY (LISCO) acquiring above water measurements. That instrumentation includes, in the standard configuration, two hyperspectral radiance sensors for measuring upwelling and sky radiances and one irradiance sensor for measuring downwelling irradiance. In our installation, HyperSAS capabilities were augmented by adding two radiance sensors having two polarizers oriented at 0 and 45°, with respect to a reference axis ("HyperSAS-POL"). An ad hoc procedure, which included measurements and radiative transfer computations, has been developed enabling to estimate the contribution of the sky glint and subtract it from the signal directly measured by HyperSAS-POL. As a result, the retrieved spectral shape of the underwater degree of polarization is consistent with what obtained from in situ underwater measurements and depends on the IOPs of the ocean itself. In addition, the demonstrated correctness of this polarized measurements from LISCO site enable us to provide continuous time series from the beginning of June 2010.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.