Friends of Rookery Bay, Inc.

Naples, FL   |  http://www.rookerybay.org

Mission

The Friends of Rookery Bay works with the local community to support needed environmental education, research and stewardship of the 110,000-acre Rookery Bay Reserve, one of the nation's last remaining pristine estuaries and the western extent of the internationally significant Everglades ecosystem.

Ruling year info

1990

Principal Officer

Athan Barkoukis

Main address

300 Tower Road

Naples, FL 34113 USA

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EIN

65-0094703

NTEE code info

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Environmental Education

The Friends of Rookery Bay provides funding for staff and volunteer support needed to maintain high quality, hands-on environmental education programs at Rookery Bay for thousands of local students each year. Education programs include fourth grade Estuary Explorers, seventh grade Rookery Bay Survivors, and high school marine science classes from Collier County Public Schools. In addition, the Reserve hosts a number of college level classes from Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida Southwest College, and Florida International University during the year.

Population(s) Served

The Friends of Rookery Bay works with local community partners to conduct outreach programs and host special events designed to enhance understanding and awareness of the values associated with the coastal environment. Recent efforts include recruiting and training volunteers to serve as educators, creating Rookery Bay's Ambassador Team. Trained Ambassadors are active volunteers at Rookery Bay, assisting professional staff with shark tagging research in the Ten Thousand Islands, serving as docents working with visitors and students at the Learning Center, and helping staff with habitat restoration work. Ambassadors share their volunteer experiences with local residents, encouraging environmental volunteerism. Hosted events include National Estuary Day, Kid's FREE Fridays, Lunch and Learn seminars, Southwest Florida Nature Festival, and others.

Population(s) Served

The Friends of Rookery Bay works with local partners to host two key fundraising events each year: the signature Batfish Bash for the Bay, held in March; and the Guardian Angler Catch and Release Fishing Tournament, held in October.  Both events are intended to raise awareness about Rookery Bay, and help raise funds for needed education and research programs through sponsorships, and a silent and live auction.

Population(s) Served

The Friends of Rookery Bay has worked effectively within Collier County and the Southwest Florida region to help develop and establish key strategic partnerships that directly support the mission of the Rookery Bay Reserve. Recent examples include partnerships with Florida Gulf Coast University's Department of Marine and Ecological Sciences, Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Minto Communities, Collier Enterprises, Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club, Artesia, Isles of Collier Preserve, Marco Marriott Resort, and J.Mclaughlin.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Accreditations

External Audit 2015 2015

Awards

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Friends of Rookery Bay works with local community partners to support needed environmental education, research, and habitat restoration within the 110,000-acre Rookery Bay Reserve. Target populations for the Friends of Rookery Bay include residents and seasonal visitors, students and decision-makers. The Friends of Rookery Bay seeks long-term sustainability of the ecologic and economic values of the 110,000-acre Rookery Bay Reserve, by engaging the local community in active and informed stewardship of the coastal environment,  and securing increased capacity to meet changing needs of the Reserve in the future.

The Friends of Rookery Bay is working to achieve it's priority goals through five key strategies:1. Conducting community outreach and education designed to increase awareness and understanding of environmental and economic values associated with the coastal environment. The Friends of Rookery Bay accomplishes this strategy through targeted outreach to local community interests, and hosting special events and programs at Rookery Bay. 2. Supporting needed environmental education and research projects within the Rookery Bay Reserve through volunteerism, fundraising, grants and partnerships.3. Securing increased capacity to meet needs of the Rookery Bay Reserve through strategic partnerships within the local community. 4. Developing and sustaining membership in the organization, that in turn supports volunteerism within the Rookery Bay Reserve, and contributes to increased community awareness and involvement in environmental stewardship.5. Developing donor relationships within the local community that can help support ongoing work, and establish a Legacy gift program that invests in the endowment fund for long-term sustainability of mission support.

The Friends of Rookery Bay currently has a membership of over 500 active volunteers, many of whom contribute time to direct support of education, research, and restoration programs at Rookery Bay during the year. This year, over 11,200 hours have been donated by members to help priority needs.  In August 2017, the Friends of Rookery Bay hired a new full-time Executive Director, responsible for working with the Board of Directors to accomplish the goals and strategies outlined above. In addition, the current Board of Directors for the Friends of Rookery Bay consists of key individuals representing important collaborative partnerships (e.g. FGCU, Minto Communities), and community leadership in a position to assist the organization with achieving it's goals. The Friends of Rookery Bay also established a Leadership Council, comprised of key individuals within the community who have agreed to contribute their time and expertise to the organization on an as needed basis.  The Council currently includes former State Legislator Dudley Goodlette, nationally recognized marine scientist Dr. Ellen Prager, and Mote Marine Laboratory's chief scientist Dr. Bob Hueter.

The Friends of Rookery Bay has accomplished key tasks related to long-term goals this year, and continues to work towards successful outcomes. Recent progress includes the successful development of key collaborative partnerships (e.g. FGCU's Department of Marine and Ecological Sciences, Mote Marine Laboratory, and Minto Communities); establishing Rookery Bay's Ambassador team to conduct targeted outreach to local community interests; securing over $50,000 in funds through grants from Martin Foundation, Walmart Foundation,  Blair Foundation and others to support needed education and outreach programs; creating the organization's first successful donor development event with the Island Soiree in February 2016; successfully raising funds through the Batfish Bash for the Bay and other events in 2016;  and recruiting key individuals from the local community to the Board of Directors with the capability to help the organization achieve priority goals. In addition, the Friends has established a Leadership Council that provides the basis for ongoing support and assistance from key individuals including Dudley Goodlette, Dr. Ellen Prager, and Dr. Bob Hueter. Council members contribute services and support on an as needed basis. In the coming three years, the Friends of Rookery Bay seeks to establish a robust Legacy Gift endowment fund that will help provide sustainable support for key programs; build community partnerships with local community interests that encourage environmental volunteerism, and expand strategic partnerships with other non-profits in the environmental arena.

Financials

Friends of Rookery Bay, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Friends of Rookery Bay, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 08/14/2018
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Thomas Marquardt

Curt Witthoff

Discovery Education, Marco Island Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary.

Mike Savarese

Florida Gulf Coast University

Chris Lombardo

Attorney, Woodward, Pires & Lombardo

Karyn Capozzo

Sales Manager, Minto Communities

Ray Carroll

Realtor, Carroll & Carroll Inc.

Paul Tateo

Realtor, Horizons Real Estate

Thomas Wagor

CEO, First Florida Integrity Bank, Marco Island Branch

Keith Laakonnen

Director, Rookery Bay Reserve

Tom Marquardt

Retired

Milda Vaivada

SOIRÉE

Sandi Wilson

The Arlington

Mitch McLeod

Retired

Charlie O'Connor

Retired