The launch of several new satellites such as Sentinel-2, Sentinel-3, HyspIRI, EnMAP and PRISMA in the very near future, opens new perspectives for the inland and coastal water community. The monitoring of the water quality closer to the coast, within estuaries or small lakes with satellite data will become feasible. However for these inland and nearshore coastal waters, adjacency effects may hamper the correct retrieval of water quality parameters from remotely sensed imagery. Here, we present a sensor-generic adjacency pre-processing method, SIMilarity Environment Correction (SIMEC). The correction algorithm estimates the contribution of the background radiance based on the correspondence with the Near-INfrared (NIR) similarity spectrum. The performance of SIMEC was tested on MERIS FR images both above highly reflecting waters with high SPM loads, as well as dark lake waters with high CDOM absorption. The results show that SIMEC has a positive or neutral effect on the normalized remote sensing reflectance above optically-complex waters, retrieved with the MERIS MEGS or UR processor.