A major modeling effort has been undertaken to develop and refine tools for extracting water quality parameters from remotely-sensed hyperspectral imagery. An outgrowth of this work is HydroMod, a new tool for calculating radiance distributions using realistic environmental conditions for studies involving remote sensing of water quality. HydroMod mates two established premier codes, MODTRAN and HYDROLIGHT. The idea is to simulate the water-leaving spectral radiance above and below the surface for varying inputs of water quality parameters. Spectral measurements can then be compared with this family of model predicted water-leaving spectral radiance vectors to find a best match and subsequently the associated water quality parameters that were used to generate the matching curve. The scope of the modeling analysis has been limited to the water-leaving radiance in the vicinity of the surface instead of the radiance reaching the sensor. Once the modeling technique using HydroMod has been refined, the atmospheric correction problem over water can be addressed with greater probability of success and fewer sources of uncertainty. This paper will describe the preliminary results from the model-based approach applied to AVIRIS data of a littoral zone and plans for future refinements in the modeling physics.