On June 2, CITGO Petroleum Corporation together with the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program hosted a coastal restoration effort in the Nueces Delta Preserve. The project is part of CITGO Caring for Our Coast, a yearlong program to promote environmental conservation and restoration through a series of volunteer and educational efforts, in keeping with the long-held commitment by CITGO to serve the communities in which it operates.

“It is important for businesses like ours to partner with the communities in order to solve issues that affect all of us,” said Nelson P. Martinez, CITGO president and CEO. “We are eager to take the lead on projects like the restoration effort in the Nueces Delta Preserve because environmental stewardship is a value we share with the Corpus Christi community where we have operated for the last 80 years.”

Moody High School students joined with volunteers from CITGO and CBBEP to restore and enhance habitats within the Preserve by planting native trees.

The Nueces River Delta represents a unique mosaic of highly productive wetlands, open water, coastal prairie and river and bay shorelines. With a goal of preserving and protecting this unique land, the CBBEP has turned the Nueces Delta Preserve into a hub for educational programs and various habitat creation and restoration projects. The efforts of volunteers will go a long way in helping to revitalize degraded habitats, ultimately promoting both wildlife protection and coastal conservation. CITGO and CBBEP led their first joint restoration project at the Preserve in November, so this was a return visit for some of those involved.

“Together with CITGO and the hard work of our local volunteers, we are bringing new life to this area," said Ray Allen, executive director of the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program. “This was part of a collective, ongoing effort and our shared stewardship will ensure that the Nueces Delta Preserve maintains its great ecological value for future generations.”

Throughout the years, storms along the Gulf Coast have contributed to significant coastal change, reflected in the many disappearing beaches, dunes and wetlands. The Nueces Delta Preserve Project is one of several environmentally-focused projects that CITGO has hosted as part of a yearlong campaign leading up to the 10-year anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

In August 2014, CITGO launched the Caring for Our Coast program with an event to promote science, technology, engineering and math or “STEM” education with Dr. Robert Ballard's Ocean Exploration Trust. Since then, CITGO has led a series of volunteer efforts dedicated to mitigating coastal change, restoring vulnerable habitats and promoting the importance of ecological preservation within our communities.

To learn more about Caring for Our Coast and the company's larger commitment to environmental stewardship, visit: http://citgocaringforourcoast.com.