A Collaborative Ocean Observatory Portal (COOP) has been developed to enable distributed investigators to collaboratively operate ocean observatory systems. COOP is being created within the Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network program to support the Adaptive Sampling and Prediction (ASAP) field experiment that occurred in Monterey Bay in the summer of 2006. ASAP involved the day-to-day participation of a large group of researchers with ties to geographically diverse institutions throughout North America. These investigators had to interact on a continual basis to optimize data collection and analysis. While some investigators needed to be physically present to launch and retrieve their assets, the long duration of the observatory made sustained co-location of researchers difficult. Likewise, future ocean observatories and observing systems (such as moored arrays and cabled observatories) will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week over many years or even decades. Since sustained co-location of researchers for situational awareness and decision-making will be impractical, there is a need for collaborative data distribution and situational awareness tools appropriate for the ASAP experiment, and eventually, for all ocean observatories. As implemented for the ASAP team, the COOP tool set consists of several components, starting with a publicly viewable, web-based tool for reviewing the day's progress and proposed actions. Registered scientists are able to discuss the day's progress (and attach illustrative data), propose actions (and back-up those proposed actions with supporting data), and discuss and vote upon proposed actions. The tool provides links to other system components, such as a database of data collections in both original and common formats, interactive data access and manipulation tools, and pages of automatically generated graphical summaries of observational results and model forecasts.