HOUSTON, Oct. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- For the fourth year in a row, CITGO Petroleum Corporation has awarded eight grants to varying local government agencies and nonprofits in celebration of National Estuaries Week, which took place Sept 15-22. Through a partnership between CITGO and Restore America's Estuaries (RAE), each grant will fund the organizations' restoration programs, environmental clean-ups, tree plantings and educational events. CITGO is the exclusive Gulf Coast Regional Sponsor of National Estuaries Week 2018.

Jeff Benoit, President and CEO of Restore America's Estuaries said, "We are pleased to once again partner with CITGO in celebration of National Estuaries week and the continued restoration efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. It is a great opportunity to provide local organizations with the funding they need to host on-the-ground events, and is a great way to bring community members together in support of our estuaries."

The following eight groups are CITGO grant program recipients:

  1. Alabama Coastal Foundation - Mobile, Ala.

  2. Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement & Development - New Orleans, La.

  3. Galveston Bay Foundation - Houston, Texas

  4. Keep Pinellas Beautiful - St. Petersburg, Fla.

  5. Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful - Tampa Bay, Fla.

  6. Marine Conservation Club - Hattiesburg, Miss.

  7. Mobile Baykeeper - Mobile, Ala.

  8. Pearl Riverkeeper - Madison, Miss.

"It is our privilege to be a part of consistently supporting these wonderful organizations. Through the CITGO grant program and with RAE, we are able to help restore vulnerable coastal communities and work together to advance environmental stewardship," said Larry Elizondo, CITGO GM Community Relations, Corporate Social Responsibility and Legislative Affairs.

CITGO has refineries in coastal areas including Lake Charles, La. and Corpus Christi, Texas, and supports National Estuaries Week as part of its restoration and conservation initiative, Caring for Our Coast. In 2014, to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, CITGO launched Caring for Our Coast as a year-long environmental stewardship program which has continued to present day. Caring for Our Coast initiatives developed along the Gulf Coast include a series of events surrounding restoration of coastal and wetland regions. Between 2014 and 2017, a total of 6,901 volunteers assisted in restoring more than 5,146 acres of land and planted 429,908 plants.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CITGO Petroleum Corporation is a recognized leader in the refining industry with a well-known brand. CITGO operates three refineries located in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, La.; and Lemont, Ill., and wholly and/or jointly owns 48 terminals, nine pipelines and three lubricants blending and packaging plants. With approximately 3,400 employees and a combined crude capacity of approximately 749,000 barrels-per-day (bpd), CITGO is ranked as the sixth-largest, and one of the most complex independent refiners in the United States. CITGO transports and markets transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products and supplies a network of approximately 5,200 locally owned and operated branded retail outlets in 30 states and the District of Columbia. CITGO Petroleum Corporation 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.