CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, Nov. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On Saturday, November 15, CITGO Petroleum Corporation (CITGO) together with the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program (CBBEP) hosted a major 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.

Community leaders, CITGO executives and representatives from the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program kick-off a volunteer effort to restore natural habitats within the Nueces Delta Preserve.

"Today's event is just one more step towards positive change," said Nelson P. Martinez, CITGO President and CEO. "Restoring these natural habitats is an ongoing effort that we are so proud to be a part of. We place great value on our communities and will continue to support efforts that reflect our commitment to being both a responsible business leader and, most importantly, a good neighbor."

Hundreds of volunteers from CITGO, CBBEP and local schools and organizations joined together to restore and enhance habitats within the Preserve by scattering native grass and wildflower seeds, and planting indigenous fauna in a newly created wetland habitat that will serve as a nesting location for water fowl wintering in the area.

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 projects. The efforts of volunteers will go a long way in helping to breathe new life into degraded habitats, ultimately promoting both wildlife protection and coastal conservation.

"We are so pleased to be working with CITGO and volunteers from so many local organizations," said Ray Allen, Executive Director of the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program. "The Nueces Delta Preserve is such a unique resource and needs constant care and attention in order to sustain its significant ecological value. Completing projects with organizations like CITGO – which place such value on education and environmental stewardship – helps make that possible."

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 the fourth in a series of 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 CITGO Caring for Our Coast program with an event to promote marine education with Dr. Robert Ballard's Ocean Exploration Trust, followed by restoration events in New Orleans, Holly Beach, La., and Lemont, Ill.

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

About the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program

CBBEP is one of 28 areas in the National Estuary Program, established by U.S. Congress in 1987. The CBBEP is a non-regulatory, voluntary partnership effort working with industry, environmental groups, bay users, local governments and resource managers to improve the health of the bay system. CBBEP joined in 1994, and the Coastal Bend Bays Plan received state approval in 1999. A mix of local governments, private industry, state (TCEQ), and federal (USEPA) agencies provide program funding. The Program also seeks private grants and additional governmental funding.

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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