UWCK Awards Reef Renewal USA Looe Key Restoration Grant

July 12, 2022

UWCK recently awarded $209,087 to Reef Renewal USA (RRUSA) to begin reef restoration work on Looe Key, located in the Lower Keys. RRUSA will use innovative techniques to outplant more than 10,000 corals and utilize 5,000 volunteer hours throughout this 4-year grant.

In February, the United Way of Collier and the Keys (UWCK) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) celebrated two years of partnership in revitalizing the iconic coral reefs that run throughout the Florida Keys. This project, which also includes diverse educational and stewardship programs, began with a $3.5 million gift from the UAE in February 2020.

Grant efforts will prioritize restoration progress towards Mission: Iconic Reefs, financial impacts to Monroe County families living paycheck to paycheck, volunteerism, and engagement with students studying marine science. UWCK’s goal is to revitalize the coral reefs – a lifeblood of the Florida Keys economy – while supporting sustainability through education. Restoring the local reefs will improve coastal protection and provide economic stability for residents, furthering UWCK’s efforts to create thriving communities by improving the financial stability of Keys families.