ORCA's One Health Program is focused on studying the transfer of toxins from the Indian River Lagoon to humans and animals.

One Health, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recognizes that the health of humans is connected to the health of animals and the environment.


  • Provide citizens the information they need to protect themselves from exposures, recognize the symptoms of exposures, and advocate for actions to clean up the waters.

  • Enhance the understanding of One Health issues among the medical community (i.e. medical and veterinary clinicians).

  • Conduct essential research to provide managers and policy makers with the scientifically-based information they need.

ORCA’s One Health Fish Monitoring project is designed to collect data related to the accumulation of toxins (naturally occurring) and toxicants (manmade) in fish living in the Indian River Lagoon and contributing waters (e.g. Lake Okeechobee, canals). Learn more about this project by clicking this link.

Our first One Health project – for which we received funding from the Frances Langford Fund through the Martin County Community Foundation – was to determine subsistence fishers’ fish consumption patterns in Indiantown in Martin County, followed by an assessment of the environment and fish in the area where their fish are caught.

Initial findings: Assessing the Risk of Toxin Transfer from Algae Blooms to Subsistence Fishing Communities in Martin County, FL

Final report: Exposure to Toxic Algal Blooms: The vulnerability of Martin County’s subsistence fishing communities