A sensor installation and evaluation programme at the Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney, BC, Canada, shows that the weather buoys operating round Canada's coasts can be used as important new sources of surface information for satellite sensor calibration and validation. The standard instruments on the buoys provide real-time measurements to forecasters--of wind, waves, water and air temperature and air pressure. The present programme is evaluating the addition of sensors measuring chlorophyll fluorescence, Photosynthetically Available Radiation (PAR), salinity and water-leaving radiance. Time-series of these data are also of value for a variety of fisheries, ecosystem and climate studies. Data can be viewed on the web at http://www-sci.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/ecobuoys.