In order to understand complex ecological problems, you need large amounts of data that is consistently collected over a long period of time.

ORCA scientists and community members are working together to gather data needed to optimize conservation efforts.


Explore Pollution Mapping Data

Pollution Mapping Citizen Science Project

This project involves on-going comprehensive monitoring of specific sites within the Indian River Lagoon. During each quarterly monitoring event, citizen scientists measure basic water quality parameters (temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, and alkalinity), measure muck depth, and collect both water and sediment samples to be brought back to the Center for Citizen Science for analyses. Once at the lab, citizen scientists composite and prepare samples for particle analysis, as well as measure nutrient concentrations (ammonia, nitrate/nitrite, and phosphate) in both water column and pore water samples. Additional analyses of these samples include relative toxicity, glyphosate, and atrazine. 





The data below was collected between 2019 and 2024, and will be periodically updated.   If you’d like to see additional data, please e-mail your request to

References:  [1] Wani, A. L., Ara, A., & Usmani, J. A. (2015). Lead toxicity: A Review. Interdisciplinary Toxicology, 8(2), 55–64.;  [2] Lee, J.-W., Choi, H., Hwang, U.-K., Kang, J.-C., Kang, Y. J., Kim, K. I., & Kim, J.-H. ;  (2019). Toxic effects of lead exposure on bioaccumulation, oxidative stress, neurotoxicity, and immune responses in fish: A Review. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology, 68, 101–108;  [3] Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d.). EPA. [4] Mercury contamination of aquatic environments. Mercury Contamination of Aquatic Environments | U.S. Geological Survey. (n.d.). [5] MacDonald, D. D. (1994). Approach to the Assessment of Sediment quality in Florida Coastal Waters. Development and Evaluation of Sediment Quality Assessment Guidelines, 1, 1–140; [6] Myers, J.P., Antoniou, M.N., Blumberg, B. et al. Concerns over use of glyphosate-based herbicides and risks associated with exposures: a consensus statement. Environ Health 15, 19 (2016); [7] Hand, J. (2004). Typical water quality values for Florida’s lakes, streams, and estuaries. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 101; [8] Protecting Florida’s springs. Florida Department of Environmental Protection;  [9] Florida Department of Environmental Protection PFAS Dynamic Plan;  [10]

Explore Fish Monitoring Data

One Health Fish Monitoring Citizen Science Project

This project tests for toxins and toxicants in fish from the Indian River Lagoon and connecting waterways. Current analyses in this project include: heavy metals (mercury, lead, cadmium), cyanotoxins (microcystin and saxitoxin), microplastics, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Additional analyses coming soon include: pharmaceuticals, controlled substances and parasites. See preliminary data below.





This data below was collected between 2019 and 2024, and will be periodically updated.   If you’d like to see additional data, please e-mail your request to

Dive into Team ORCA’s Citizen Science blog to read about the importance of data collection, why we monitor, the significance of citizen science and more!