About 30 years ago, NASA launched the first ocean-color observing satellite:the Coastal Zone Color Scanner. CZCS had 5 bands in the visible-infrared domain with anobjective to detect changes of phytoplankton (measured by concentration of chlorophyll) inthe oceans. Twenty years later, for the same objective but with advanced technology, theSea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS, 7 bands), the Moderate-ResolutionImaging Spectrometer (MODIS, 8 bands), and the Medium Resolution ImagingSpectrometer (MERIS, 12 bands) were launched. The selection of the number of bands andtheir positions was based on experimental and theoretical results achieved before thedesign of these satellite sensors. Recently, Lee and Carder (2002) demonstrated that foradequate derivation of major properties (phytoplankton biomass, colored dissolved organicmatter, suspended sediments, and bottom properties) in both oceanic and coastalenvironments from observation of water color, it is better for a sensor to have ~15 bands inthe 400 – 800 nm range. In that study, however, it did not provide detailed analysesregarding the spectral locations of the 15 bands. Here, from nearly 400 hyperspectral (~ 3-nm resolution) measurements of remote-sensing reflectance (a measure of water color)taken in both coastal and oceanic waters covering both optically deep and optically shallowwaters, first- and second-order derivatives were calculated after interpolating themeasurements to 1-nm resolution. From these derivatives, the frequency of zero values foreach wavelength was accounted for, and the distribution spectrum of such frequencies wasobtained. Furthermore, the wavelengths that have the highest appearance of zeros wereidentified. Because these spectral locations indicate extrema (a local maximum orminimum) of the reflectance spectrum or inflections of the spectral curvature, placing the bands of a sensor at these wavelengths maximizes the potential of capturing (and then restoring) the spectral curve, and thus maximizes the potential of accurately deriving properties of the water column and/or bottom of various aquatic environments with a multi-band sensor.