Everglades Foundation

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Everglades Foundation
Everglades foundation.gif
Founded 1993
Palmetto Bay, Florida
Type 501(c)(3) not-for-profit
Focus Environmentalism
Location
Area served Florida Everglades
Method Science-based research, programs, advocacy
Key people Chairman, Paul Tudor Jones II
CEO, Eric Eikenberg
Senior Scientist, Tom Van Lent
Executive Vice President, Stanley Boynton
Revenue [1] $4.5 million (2009)
Slogan One Mission. One Priority. Restoring America's Everglades.
Website http://www.evergladesfoundation.org/

History[edit]

Satellite image from NASA showing the Everglades ecoregion as delineated by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The region south of the yellow line includes Lake Okeechobee, the Everglades, the Big Cypress Swamp, the Atlantic Coastal Ridge, the estuarine mangroves of the Ten Thousand Islands, and Florida Bay.

The Everglades Foundation was formed by a group of outdoor enthusiasts, environmentalists and residents of Florida who were concerned over the decline of the Everglades and the resulting damage in the nearby natural and protected areas such as Florida Bay. The original founding members, George Barley, a wealthy Orlando developer, and billionaire Paul Tudor Jones II, spearheaded the organization's growth, and shared the same concern over the steady decline of the environmental balance in this unique and delicate ecosystem, due to poor water management and pollution.[2]

The Foundation was created and founded in 1993, and is currently operated as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. This organization is supported by noteworthy performers, professional athletes, and business persons. Included in the list is Jimmy Buffett and golfer Jack Nicklaus.[3]

Focus[edit]

The Everglades Foundation is dedicated to advancing an understanding of the Greater Everglades ecosystem and its irreplaceable environmental and economic value. The organization is funded primarily from private donations. The Foundation’s board covers administrative and fund raising expenses separately and entirely each year. This allows the Foundation to state that 100 percent of each donation goes directly to support programs to restore the Everglades. Donations provide scientists, policy analysts, researchers, communications experts and other professionals with funding to address complex issues involved in saving the River of Grass. The Everglades Foundation directs some of their resources toward the organizations that hold congruent philosophies on Everglades restoration. Foundation-supported grant programs allow collaboration instead of competition with several non-profit organizations to focus efforts instead of working individually on like-minded environmental concerns [4]

The organization employs PH.D-level scientists who work to promote the understanding of the greater Everglades ecosystem. The Foundation provides its expertise and research to these partner organizations in addition to grant funding. This is one of the strengths of the organization, and as such, the Everglades Foundation is often called on to provide expertise on policy issues impacting the Everglades with local governments such as Miami-Dade County, Florida,[5] as well as the federal Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) project.[6]

Current issues and projects[edit]

C111 N. Spreader Canal[edit]

The C-111 N. Spreader Canal project entails constructing a stormwater treatment area and pump station, in addition to extending a spreader canal by two miles, and adding culverts and other features to benefit and improve health and water quality of the southern part of the Everglades wetlands. This project is in conjunction with the Army Corp of Engineers.[7] and is a part of CERP.

U.S. Sugar Corp. land[edit]

The Foundation’s scientific research supports data that shows the acquisition of U.S. Sugar Corp. land will allow for water delivery, water treatment and water storage of sufficient quantity and quality to mimic the Everglades' natural system. Water delivery and treatment aids in returning the ecosystem to a more natural state from its current water-deprived condition.[8]

Tamiami Trail[edit]

An $81 million contract was awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build a bridge to help restore and replenish fresh water flows in Everglades National Park and to nourish the ecosystem.[9]

Key personnel[edit]

Fundraising[edit]

The Everglades Foundation holds an annual benefit known as the ForEverglades Benefit in Palm Beach, Fla., in February to increase awareness and funding to support scientific research and other programs related to Everglades restoration. Last year, the Foundation awarded matching grants of more than $1.3 million to more than a dozen environmental organizations. The Everglades Foundation also dedicates funds for legal action to ensure the protection of the Everglades if needed.

Mather Economic Study[edit]

In October 2010, the Everglades Foundation released the results of a comprehensive analysis of the financial return on investment generated by restoration of America’s Everglades ecosystem. The study, conducted by Mather Economics, projects that restoration will produce an increase in economic benefits of approximately $46.5 billion that could range up to $123.9 billion based on an investment of $11.5 billion.

The study shows that for every one dollar spent on Everglades restoration as part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), $4.04 will be generated in economic benefits. Projections indicate that there will be an incremental impact on employment of about 442,644 additional jobs over 50 years. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also estimates there will be 22,966 new short- to mid-term jobs created as a result of actual restoration projects.

The study can be found at: http://www.evergladesfoundation.org/pages/reports-and-surveys/

References[edit]