One objective of the Lagrangian Transport and Transformation Experiment (LaTTE) is to determine the relative advantages of studying the Hudson River plume within the spatial and temporal context provided by an operational research observatory. Towards this end, a shelf-wide observational backbone was locally enhanced with high-resolution relocatable systems in the New York Bight apex. The permanent backbone includes local acquisition of international satellite ocean color imagery, a network of long-range High Frequency radars, and a cross-shelf Endurance line occupied by an autonomous underwater glider. The high resolution systems, including higher resolution HF Radar, glider and mooring networks, were moved to the New York Bight Apex to support the specific interdisciplinary process study. During the LaTTE field effort, datasets from the nested observation network, including a triple nested HF Radar array, were assembled in real-time at a shore-based acquisition center, and high-resolution atmospheric forecasts were performed. Surface current observations will be reviewed, with specific emphasis placed on the observed response of the Hudson River plume to local winds. The observatory results provide a spatial and temporal context for viewing the LaTTE dye release, chemical and biological results.