Wow! Bill's mention of Viera Wetlands really rung my bell as I had just this morning been researching that location as a potential spot to visit this December . . . just this very morning. Crazy coincidence, or providence? I guess this location is OFF the "potential" list and now on the "must visit" list.
To piggyback on this discussion. My first public waste water experience outside of Berrien Springs County, Three-Oaks, MI where we birders were allowed to view the lagoons from outside the 7 feet tall fencing was the summer of 2006 in Tucson, AZ at the Sweetwater Wetlands Area. We had just landed at the airport and upon renting our vehicle, the Sweetwater Wetlands was immediately our first stop after leaving the rental lot. There, we were "privy" to many awesome species including Least Grebe, White-faced Ibis, Purple & Common Gallinules, etc. http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/water/sweetwater
If you haven't experienced Viera Wetlands in Florida I highly recommend it on your next trip south. It serves as a shining example of how one county in Florida figured out that birders and nature photographers are not the enemy. Instead, they see us as a valuable source of tax revenue which every city and county needs in order to operate their water reclamation facilities. They have made Viera Wetlands free and open to the public and all they ask is that you please sign in so that they can keep track of how many visitors they receive. As a result, it has become a birding hotspot in the state and the envy of many other counties. Here's just a few of the links on this unique sewage treatment facility.
> My home village of Pocahontas has a set of three small sewage ponds that are definitely not open to the public -- but since they're right across the road from me, I sneak over from time to time. I don't actually know who to contact for permission, so I just try to be inconspicuous. Not something I'd recommend to anyone else, of course. > > -Allen >