The free STA permits are for waterfowl hunting in STAs that are open to hunting, and are available by random draw through the Recreational License Issuance System. You can apply online at license.myfwc.com, choose "Limited Entry / Quota Permits and Applications", or complete the appropriate worksheet and present to any license agent or tax collector agent. Application deadlines and drawing dates are listed on the individual worksheets.
You must have a valid Management Area Permit or license that includes a Management Area Permit unless you are exempt.
These waterfowl hunting areas are a cooperative effort of the South Florida Water Management District and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in order to provide additional opportunities for recreation on public lands in South Florida.
Stormwater Treatment Area One-West (STA-1W) is a 6,700 acre constructed wetland located in central Palm Beach County.
Stormwater Treatment Area Two (STA-2) is a 9195-acre constructed wetland located about 3 miles north of the Palm Beach / Broward County line on HWY 27.
Stormwater Treatment Area Three-Four (STA-3/4) is a 17,000 acre constructed wetland located at the intersection of the L-5 levee and US 27 at the Palm Beach / Broward County line.
Stormwater Treatment Area Five (STA-5) is a 5,200 acre constructed wetland located in eastern Hendry County at the Hendry / Palm Beach County line.
The plants inside these constructed wetlands are consuming phosphorus as they grow, eventually depositing much of the nutrient in the soils. Previously under agricultural practices for decades, phosphorus from fertilizers and organic soils has been carried into the Everglades by storm runoff, causing a change in the Everglades landscape. Too much of this essential nutrient has allowed cattail to invade the River of Grass, reducing the coverage of sawgrass and open water sloughs. Unfortunately, cattail does not provide the habitat necessary to support many of the plant and animal species that are unique to the Everglades. The construction of STAs was mandated by the State of Florida's Everglades Forever Act with a primary goal of reducing the amount of phosphorus that reaches the Everglades ecosystem. In time, these STAs will help sawgrass replace cattail and return the entire ecosystem to a healthier condition. The numerous levees, water control structures and monitoring equipment within the STAs are critical to the success of the phosphorus control program. Any damage to these facilities as a result of public access could restrict the continued public use of these areas.