Friends of Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management, Inc. (FOE) was developed to be the fundraising arm of Everglades CISMA (See evergladescisma.org). There are 17 CISMA's (http://www.floridainvasives.org/cismas.html) presently in the State of FL and FOE is the first FRIENDS groups for a Florida CISMA. CISMA stands for Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area and ECISMA, started in 2008, works to remove all taxa from the Everglades Ecosystem.
FOE incorporated on May 6, 2013. FOE received its Florida Solicitation License from the FL Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services on June 6, 2013. Our application to receive exemption from Federal income tax under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code was officially approved on August 29, 2013. FOE's mission is to raise funds for ECISMA activities by government, non-profit, corporate and foundation grants. FOE is also pleased to accept any donations from the public.
FOE is presently operated by a board of directors that consists of three people. Joseph Ryan Steele is the current President and Executive Director. Tony Pernas, as the Co-chair of ECISMA, is also a founding Director of FOE. He was elected to be the Treasurer of FOE. Dennis Giardina, a Co-chair of ECISMA, is a founding Director of FOE. He was elected to be the Secretary of FOE. In addition to the board of directors, Stuart Krantz, the founding President, is currently donating his time to ensure a smooth transition in the leadership.
FOE purposes include:
1) Education Outreach to the public to further their knowledge regarding exotic invasive species threatening the Everglades Ecosystem.
A. Financial support for the management of invasive species including Early Detection/Rapid Response activities by the Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (ECISMA) to combat newly discovered invasive species.
B. Any scientific, educational, or charitable purpose as specified in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or corresponding section of any future federal tax code and as relates to the forgoing purposes and/or the success of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.
C. Cooperative efforts related to the purposes of this corporation as specified in documents of the corporation including, but not limited to, its Bylaws and Memorandum of Understanding.
D. The purposes of Friends of Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management, Inc. may be carried out in ways that include, but are not limited to, the making of grants or other distributions to other tax-exempt organizations or entities. The grants or other distributions must be used only with activities that fit the exempt purpose of Friends of Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management, Inc. Friends of Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management, Inc. must be able to verify that any and all grants or other distributions are used for Friends of Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management, Inc. purposes written into these Articles.