What Does the Florida Keys Guides Association Do?
The FKFGA supports restoration projects, sponsors an individual’s travel to speak on our behalf about conservation issues, gives grants to local schools for students to participate in research projects and donate funds to local organizations like the Wild Bird Rehabilitation center, the Barley Bay Festival named after Mary Barley of the Save Our Everglades Foundation and the Sea Grass Outreach Program.
Associate and Lifetime members are individuals from all over the U.S. Associate members are generally non-guide members who support the FKFGA. Their dues ($125 -$1000) go into our general fund. There is an elected board of directors that oversee the disbursement of our funds.
The FKFGA is also one of the main fundraising organizations for the Guides Trust Foundation (GTF). The GTF mission is to assist guides or persons related to the local fishing industry in times of need or in the event they become injured and unable to work. Our biggest fundraiser is the annual Swamp Guides Ball.
The FKFGA board makes recommendations to the Guides Trust Foundation when we are approached for assistance. Last year the GTF donated about $25,000 in $5,000 increments to assist guides and their families. The donations are used to pay monthly living expenses and other various needs while out of work. Every applicant must meet certain criteria before being considered for assistance. Once again, the FKFGA board makes those decisions based on set criteria.
We are also active in making recommendations to Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park about areas that need protection and ways to enhance fisheries.