United Arab Emirates’ $3.5 Million Gift to United Way of Collier and the Keys Will Launch Major Reef Restoration Program in Florida KeysPress Release
With over 60% of Key's residents directly dependent upon the marine environment for their occupation, we know that if we don’t turn this around and bring our reef back from the state of devastation that it currently is in, it will have negative economic and environmental effects on our community. We believe this project is vital to the future of our community.
The sites – Carysfort Reef, Horseshoe Reef, Cheeca Rocks, Sombrero Reef, Newfound Harbor, Looe Key Reef, and Eastern Dry Rocks – These have been deemed to have the highest chance of success for this restoration process.
Corals grow slowly, and this coral restoration project will take time. Mission: Iconic Reefs uses several phases to ensure that multiple coral species and other important reef species can be restored over time. This project will take place in phases and will take some time. Click the link to learn more below.Learn More
"We are honored to work with the Ambassador and the Embassy as a trusted partner and look forward to this valued partnership continuing. This donation is truly transformative, providing for the hardworking families who are dependent on the reefs and marine life yet are still struggling from the effects of this devastating hurricane. We are so thankful for the outstanding collaboration and impact created through this gift." Steve Sanderson, United Way of Collier County
"We have government entities both at the federal and state level collaborating on Mission: Iconic Reefs. We also have academic institutions, nonprofits, and local community members that have a vested interest in protecting these resources." Sarah Fangman, NOAA's Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
“This wonderful humanitarian gift will galvanize the critical reef restoration work necessary to revitalize the reef upon which our Florida Keys community depends. We could not be more grateful for the United Way’s partnership with the UAE to improve our community.” Holly Raschein, Representative for Florida House District 120.