LAKE CHARLES, La., Sept. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, CITGO Petroleum Corporation, in partnership with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL), commemorated the nine-year anniversary of Hurricane Rita with a volunteer event to plant 70,000 dune grass plugs along a five-mile stretch of Holly Beach. The project is part of the CITGO Caring for Our Coast initiative, a yearlong environmental conservation and restoration program that celebrates the resilience and recovery of the region in the almost 10 years since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Community leaders join employees from the CITGO Lake Charles Refinery and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana in a ceremonial presentation of the dune grass planted along Holly Beach.

In 2005, CITGO responded swiftly with aid for its neighbors, funding and fuel for non-governmental organizations and first responders, and assistance in critical evacuation efforts. In addition, it provided $5 million in funding to the SWLA Center for Health Services to expand clinic capacity and health care services in the wake of massive flooding from both storms.

"Louisiana has been our home for 70 years," said Nelson P. Martinez, President and CEO at CITGO Petroleum Corporation. "This project in Holly Beach, and the entire CITGO Caring for Our Coast program, reflects our principles of caring for the environment and helping to improve the lives of people in the communities where we live and work."

Hurricane Rita caused significant erosion of the shoreline at Holly Beach, destroying the only natural protection for many coastal habitats and communities in the area. With the help of hundreds of volunteers from all over Louisiana – including Cameron Parish, Calcasieu Parish, CRCL and the CITGO Lake Charles Refinery, CITGO is proud to announce the Holly Beach restoration project will take place today.

"CRCL is committed to restoring a sustainable, coastal Louisiana and partnering with action-oriented organizations like CITGO, is one way we achieve that goal," said Kimberly Davis Reyher, Executive Director for the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.

The CITGO Caring for Our Coast program was launched on August 29, when more than 100 volunteers commemorated the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina by participating in a restoration event at the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center in New Orleans. Following today's event on Holly Beach, the program will continue this fall with another event in Corpus Christi, Texas.

To learn more about the Holly Beach volunteer event and the Caring for Our Coast program, visit

About the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana

Founded in 1988, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana is a non-profit organization whose mission is the protection and restoration of a sustainable coastal Louisiana.  With the support of 20,000 members and volunteers, CRCL advocates for strong coastal policies and implements restoration projects across coastal Louisiana. To learn more about the many ways in which we lead Louisiana's citizens in the coastal restoration effort, visit or call us at 1-888-LA-COAST.

About CITGO Petroleum Corporation

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit

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