Our STA 5/6 and their good neighbor US Sugar Corp

@SFWMD

@joenegronfl

Our STA 5/6  and their good neighbor US Sugar Corp

This past weekend my friend Jules and I went to visit STA 5/6. I wanted to see the STA’s. The Board of Governors were all over these places and how fabulous they were. I needed to see for myself. They could not have been talking about this place. Do you think they have even been here?

What is an STA?

Here’s a good link

http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xrepository/sfwmd_repository_pdf/bts_sta.pdf

This is what they had on their website for STA 5

http://my.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/pg_grp_sfwmd_landresources/pg_sfwmd_landresources_recopps_se_sta5

Photo on TOP

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So this is what I thought I was going to be seeing

Stormwater Treatment Area 5/6 (STA-5/6)

Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) are constructed wetlands designed to aid in Everglades restoration. STAs remove phosphorus from runoff water by channeling it through shallow marshes filled with aquatic plants such as cattail, southern naiad and algae. These plants take up or absorb phosphorus from water traveling through, reducing to very low levels the amount of the nutrients reaching the Everglades or Lake Okeechobee.

STAs provide another bonus – prime home and visiting territory to wildlife including wading birds, ducks and American alligators. A variety of nature-based recreational activities are allowed at several of these wetland locations.

Located on approximately 17,000 acres in eastern Hendry County, Stormwater Treatment Area 5/6 (STA-5/6) has become one of the premier bird-watching areas in Florida through a long-standing partnership with the Hendry-Glades Audubon Society. More than 200 bird species have been spotted at STA-5/6 on the seasonal, guided bird-watching tours offered by the local Audubon chapter. The site is also popular as a waterfowl hunting area managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Access to STA-5/6 was expanded in 2013 with a public use area with shell-rocked parking, an informational kiosk,

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restrooms

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Gross inside and filled with spiders.

and a trail that includes a covered shade shelter and a boardwalk. Hiking, bicycling and bird-watching are among the activities visitors can enjoy from the public use area. In addition, a portion of the Florida National Scenic Trail runs along the L-3 levee on the west side of the STA.

The Trip to STA 5/6

The road to STA 5/6

The road to STA 5/6

Signage for STA

Signage for STA

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sugar fields in Clewiston. Notice the brown stuff near the water.  herbacides?

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These are canal on the side of the road filled with vegetation.

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and then we got lost

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and then we were found.

So when you pull onto Deerfence Canal Road  the STA is straight ahead and to the right to US Sugar Corp.

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Gate for US Sugar Corp

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This is the water coming from the west running along side US Sugar Corp

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This is the water going towards the STA. Note Brown decayed vegetation on right looks like its bee sprayed with herbacides.

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This is the water on the other side of the street going toward the STA

Then we got here. I have no idea what this is or what’s it for.

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but then after the water looked like this.

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Again no judgement I have no idea what I’m looking at

We drove up the the STA’s

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Building at STA 5/6

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STA 5

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sta 6

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sta 5

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STA-5 is accessible from the north or south.

  • From the north: Travel about one mile east of Clewiston on U.S. 27 to C.R. 835, (Evercane Road), or find this intersection about 13.5 miles west of South Bay.Once on C.R. 835 travel south and west about 26 miles to Deerfence Canal Road.
  • From the south: Use I-75, travel about 25 miles west of U.S. 27 on I-75 turn north at Snake Road exit. Follow this road northward 25 miles to C.R. 835 and turn east three miles to Deerfence Canal Road.Once at Deerfence Canal Road go east one mile to STA-5, cross the bridge and proceed to the east end of the public parking area.

MAPS

http://my.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xrepository/sfwmd_repository_pdf/sta5-pub-access-102213_with_levees_closed.pdf

Here’s some bird watching information

http://my.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xrepository/sfwmd_repository_pdf/sta5_birdwatch_information.pdf

Check the eco-tour it looks like fun!

Again. I’m not a hydrologist or geologist but it seems very dry down there. The canals were low. What good fortune for US Sugar Corp to have all this water just next door! Isn’t it? Who needs a reservoir when you have all the water you need right next door. I could definitely see why no one wants to mess with this.

I’d definitely bring my own potty! and don’t forget to stop by the US Sugar Corp guardhouse that sits next to the STA and say hi.

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