The implementation of the Health of the Oceans Module (HOTO) of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) is intended to occur, region by region, in concert and ideally amalgamated, with the other GOOS components, particularly the climate, living resources, and coastal zone modules. However, what HOTO potentially offers to the marine scientist is a scheme of continuing measurements accomplished in a more comparable manner, that can be used by individuals for their own applications. The global development of HOTO is through national and regional implementation activities that address identified problems in specific geographic areas and assess their extent in time and space. Individual scientists, therefore, should seize the opportunity of becoming involved in the planning and implementation of such specific monitoring activities. HOTO data will be made available in raw form and in a range of collated and interpreted forms that will be useful for a suite of marine and nonmarine applications. HOTO also will provide a mechanism for obtaining a measurement series on which individual scientists can base, or piggyback, any specific measurement requirements that they have for scientific and/or management applications. This then is the promise of HOTO. It is now up to the community involved in the design of the several GOOS modules to complete their work and to use the international science, environmental management, and policy communities to ensure the implementation of all the modules in a systematic and coordinated manner. The entire sequence of operations within GOOS, if implemented as intended, will provide a vastly improved store of basic marine environmental data with higher spatial and temporal resolution than available ever before. This will mean that individual scientists can reduce the effort they have to devote to routine measurements and concentrate their efforts on the necessary incremental measurements for their own purposes.