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United Arab Emirates’ $3.5 Million Gift to United Way of Collier and the Keys Will Launch Major Reef Restoration Program in Florida Keys

February 25, 2020

Key Largo, FL (26 February 2020) - Officials from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and The United Way of Collier and the Keys announced today that the UAE is granting $3.5 million in funds to help restore seven iconic reefs in the Florida Keys. The donation will launch one of the largest investments in reef restoration in the world.

The gift is part of a larger $10 million pledge to the state of Florida for Hurricane Irma relief efforts. United Way of Collier and the Keys will execute the gift’s impact strategy in partnership with experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) along with other local, state, national and international stakeholders. The majority of these funds will be made available through United Way to local reef restoration organizations to execute the critical reef restoration work.

“This is what friends do for each other in times of need. The UAE is delighted to be able to help the Florida Keys community in this special way and begin to restore its iconic coral reefs,” said Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States. “We share the same planet and face the same challenges. That’s why the UAE is so proud to collaborate with partners in the US and around the world to better protect and preserve vital ecosystems.”

Read the full press release and learn more about the projects the gift will fund here.