CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, May 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Volunteers from the CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery and local students came together for a beach cleanup at the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve and Learning Center, a 162-acre natural sanctuary maintained by the Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Department. Students from Cunningham Middle School and Foy H. Moody High School worked with TeamCITGO, an employee-run community service group, to clear the beach of trash and plant native vegetation. Afterwards, experts provided students with an opportunity to learn more about environmental conservation at the preserve.
Caring for Our Coast, the company's environmental stewardship initiative, made the cleanup efforts possible. Caring for Our Coast projects strive to boost natural habitat conservation and restoration in the communities in which CITGO operates. As a result of the partnership between CITGO and the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve, more than 250 volunteers of all ages helped cultivate nearly 8,000 square feet of native vegetation at the preserve throughout 2014 and 2015 by planting thorn scrub.
"We strongly rely on volunteers to maintain the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve and Learning Center," said Manuel Cantu, program manager at the Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Department. "The involvement of TeamCITGO at Oso Bay has helped improve the overall health of the preserve's wildlife and ecosystem."
"Areas like the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve are important to our community because of the opportunities they provide to our children to interact with and enjoy the natural world," said CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery Vice President & General Manager Art Klein. "At CITGO, we understand the role education plays in driving awareness of and commitment to preserving natural treasures like Oso Bay, so we are proud to contribute to programs like this that not only protect the environment, but teach our children about its value, as well."
The Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve makes important contributions to the environmental education of Corpus Christi residents. The preserve regularly hosts student groups to provide educational workshops and field trips on the historic grounds, which were once used for pastures and cattle herds in Corpus Christi. Visitors can take part in summer nature camps and recreational activities such as yoga and hiking, led by staff at the preserve. Additionally, the preserve's learning center features several interactive exhibits on native fauna, watershed interactions and local fish.
To learn more about the CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery's support of local organizations and natural habitat restoration, please visit http://www.citgo.com/SocialResponsibility/Community.jsp. Additionally, for more information on the schedule of CITGO Caring for Our Coast events and to sign up to volunteer, please visit http://www.citgocaringforourcoast.com/.
About CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery
The CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery, which celebrated 80 years of operations in 2015, provides more than 1,000 jobs locally, while generating more than $345 million per year in support of the local economy through salaries, services and taxes. In addition to producing high-quality fuels for its network of nearly 5,500 independently owned and operated CITGO branded stations across the country, Corpus Christi refinery employees make a major positive impact on the community. In 2015 alone, CITGO employees in Corpus Christi volunteered more than 2,900 hours of their personal time to local and national charities. Since 2013, the CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery and its employees have provided more than 10,000 volunteer hours and approximately $3.3 million in support of community organizations such as United Way, Charlie's Place, Muscular Dystrophy Association, The Miracle League, Catholic Charities, the Special Olympics and a variety of environmental and preservation initiatives, such as the revitalization of the Gateway to Corpus Christi, Hans and Pat Suter Park and Adopt-A-Beach Clean Up. For more information on the CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery, visit www.citgorefining.com/corpus-christi.
CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com.