Save Guana Now has received tax exempt status.
Donors can deduct contributions they make to Save Guana Now under IRC Section 170. This includes donations that were made as early as July 28, 2016.
Save Guana Now Corporation was organized exclusively for charitable, scientific or educational purposes. Specifically, Save Guana Now was formed to preserve and protect environmentally sensitive land and Outstanding Florida Waters in or around the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, including a 99-acre parcel 15 miles south of Jacksonville, Florida which has been designated conservation land since 1984. Known as the “Outpost,” this land has significant historical value and meets important ecological criterion that warrant its protection. The corporation’s income is derived from contributions and is expended in furthering the purposes for which it was organized.
Save Guana Now was formed by representatives of the community at large for the purpose of protecting and preserving the air, water, and natural, historical, and archaeological resources and community character of St. Johns County, Florida.’ The organization’s mission is strongly supported by at least three environmental groups, including Audubon Florida, Sierra Club Northeast Florida and the North Florida Land Trust.
The preservation of this land is part of an ongoing effort to protect the land and water of the 99-acre tract, comprised of approximately 70% uplands and 30% wetlands. This natural environment has significant historical value and is in danger of being developed. Development of this land risks disruption of a delicate ecosystem and wildlife habitat that has been in place for centuries.. This land is surrounded almost entirely by Guana River Wildlife Management Area – sharing 95% of its border with the WMA.
Our goal is to preserve this significant wildlife habitat and to protect the delicate and diverse ecosystem that it is a part of from future development. The purpose includes the maintenance of the conservation designation of the Outpost property, the disallowing of development on this conservation land, and the protection of the pristine quality of Guana and its wildlife which could be adversely affected by habitat destruction, noise pollution and visual pollution on the abutting 99-acre property. Furthermore, polluted run-off resulting from any development scheme entering Guana Lake, marshes and surrounding land would potentially pollute water flowing into the nearby GTMNERR – the only National Estuarine Research Reserve on Florida’s east coast.
As many as 17 imperiled species (designated ST, FT or SSC) have been sited near the Outpost property. Habitat destruction is the #1 cause of decline in populations of imperiled species, and 70 acres of the 99-acre tract are slated for development. In addition, the 30 wetland acres are further imperiled by the developer’s two requested variances to reduce wetland buffers.
This land meets the criteria for purchase by the State of Florida under the Florida Forever program, and according to North Florida Land Trust, it also meets criteria for federal funding. The environmental significance of the land received national attention by the Associated Press and numerous media outlets around the country shortly after development plans were announced.
Preserving environmentally significant lands naturally helps to clean our waters, recharge our aquifers, provide wildlife habitat and enhance our quality of life. When left in its natural state, this land cleans our air, improves our water quality and quantity and prevents flooding. Conservation of this land supports preservation of our water supply.
Rev. Rul. 76-204 provides that preserving ecologically significant land is a charitable purpose and activity. This ruling provides, in effect, that preserving ecologically significant land is a charitable purpose and activity. It recognizes that efforts to preserve and protect the natural environment for the benefit of the public serve as a charitable purpose in itself. This community benefit theory is stated in Rev. Rul. 76-204 as follows: “The benefit to the public from environmental conservation derives not merely from the current educational, scientific, and recreational use that are made of our natural resources, but from their preservation as well.”
It is generally recognized that efforts to preserve and protect the natural environment for the benefit of the public serve a charitable purpose. Restatement (Second) of Trusts Section 375 (1959).
Furthermore, the promotion of the conservation and protection of natural resources has been recognized by Congress as serving a broad public benefit.
The benefit to the public from environmental conservation derives not merely from the current educational, scientific, and recreational uses that are made of our resources, but from their preservation as well. Only through preservation will future generations be guaranteed the ability to enjoy the natural environment. A national policy of preserving unique aspects of the natural environment for future generations is clearly mandated in the Congressional declarations of purpose and policy in numerous Federal conservation laws. *(cites available if needed-)*
By acquiring or preserving (whether by self-maintenance or through transfer to a governmental agency) ecologically significant undeveloped land, Save Guana Now is enhancing the accomplishment of the express national policy of conserving the nation’s unique natural resources. In this sense, Save Guana Now is advancing education and science and is benefiting the public in a manner that the law regards as charitable.
Save Guana Now is formed for the purpose of preserving a sanctuary for wild birds and animals which would be accessible to the public for educational purposes.
The future activities of this organization would be educational in that they may potentially instruct the public on subjects useful to the individual and beneficial to the community.
Rev. Rul. 67-292,1967 C.B. 184, holds that an organization formed for the purpose of purchasing and maintaining a sanctuary for wild birds and animals for the education of the public may qualify for exemption under IRC 501 (c) (3).
A sanctuary for wild birds and animals to be used for public educational purposes is an organization similar to a museum or zoo. Therefore, the activities of this organization are educational in that they intend to instruct the public on subjects useful to the individual and beneficial to the community.