Stormwater Treatment Area Wetlands of South Florida
Dr. Wright's extensive experience at the UF/IFAS Everglades Research and Education Center (EREC) included conducting a research and extension program to support agricultural crop (specifically vegetable) production and proper management of natural resources in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA).
There, Dr. Wright's focus was on developing new and improved crop management strategies for subsiding soils of the EAA. Today, Dr. Wright's research aims to improve sugarcane and vegetable production systems with updated nutrient management practices and nutrient loss to sensitive aquatic ecosystems.
Dr. Wright's efforts at the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) and Everglades REC lead to better management of natural resources, and improved recommendations for agricultural producers and water managers. Dr. Wright's region - in which he develops improved methods - spans the EAA, Indian River region, and throughout the entire state of Florida.
Stormwater treatment area (STA) wetlands are studied to optimize phosphorus removal from surface water and enhance nutrient retention in soil - providing a cleaner water source for sensitive Everglades wetlands.
Dr. Wright's research programs are directed at understanding phosphorus removal capacity of Stormwater Treatment Areas (STA), and vegetation, hydrologic conditions, and water quality influence functions of the STA ecosystems.
Stormwater Treatment Area Everglades Wetlands
The STA wetlands in the Everglades were constructed for the purpose of treating drainage waters that enter the Everglades wetland ecosystem. These STAs function through chemical and biological uptake of phosphorus from surface water - resulting in deposition of phosphorus into biota and sediments.
Calcareous periphyton is an essential and effective mechanism for removing phosphorus from surface waters, and is an important component of most STAs.