CAMERON PARISH, LA (KPLC) - CITGO continued "Caring for Our Coast" and partnered with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) to host what is known as the largest volunteer-based restoration project in the region. Volunteers from Calcasieu and Cameron parish came out to Holly Beach Saturday and planted 70,000 dune grass plugs along a five-mile stretch of beach to promote sand along the coast.
"The coast is critical to current business, and it's critical to future business," said CRCL's Kimberly Davis Reyher. "We can find opportunities. We can find a restoration economy as we figure out how to get our land back and perhaps even reach out and teach others."
CITGO representatives along with federal, state and local government officials helped plant the grass plugs, which were planted to promote sand and sediment on the dunes and restoring them as a natural buffer between the Gulf's storm surges and the nearby marshes.
"This is nothing new for us," said vice president and general manager of CITGO in Lake Charles Tomeu Vadell. "We have been living in this area for 70 years. We love the area. So, going back to our coast is what people do and people love to do that."
U.S. senator Mary Landrieu stopped by to show her support and says restoring the coast is a vital project not only for the state of Louisiana, but for the entire country.
"The industries that depend on this coast to be healthy and the industries that make billions of dollars along this coast need it to be resilient," she said. "We need people living here. We love the ducks, we love the wildlife, we love our birds, but we need people living here to support this coast for Louisiana and for America."
The campaign kicked-off in August in New Orleans, where nearly 100 volunteers from Team CITGO, CRCL and the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center worked to remove trees and restore wetlands damaged by Hurricane Katrina.