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CITGO Fueling Good Project Helps Non-Profit Save Endangered American Bird

CITGO Assists Operation Migration to Protect and Restore Whooping Crane's Migration Route

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y., March 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- CITGO Petroleum Corporation has announced Operation Migration USA, Inc. as a winner of this year's Fueling Good Project. CITGO representatives and local CITGO Marketers presented $5,000 in CITGO Gift Cards to Operation Migration Associate Director of Development Jo-Anne Bellemer on March 4, 2014 at the CITGO Marketer Roundtable Meeting in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

CITGO Fueling Good Project helps Operation Migration ultralight aircrafts guide endangered Whooping Cranes along migration route.

Operation Migration gives people a renewed determination to do all they can to safeguard birds and help Americans be proper stewards of the land and all its inhabitants. The organization's work has played a key role in the reintroduction of endangered Whooping Cranes into eastern North America since 2001.

"We found out about this fabulous award right after Christmas while we were on migration in Southern Alabama. We were positively elated at the news, and we cannot thank CITGO enough for allowing us to keep guiding these endangered creatures on their first migration journey from Wisconsin to Florida," said Bellemer.

Operation Migration flies ultralight aircrafts during their missions, each of which costs about $50 to fuel for each migration leg. In total, there are 23 migration legs required to carry out the 1200-mile trip. In addition to the migration vehicles, winter monitoring vehicles in Florida and relocation trips to a Maryland-based wildlife research center where chicks hatch also require fuel. The Operation Migration community spans the entire North American continent.

"Each year during the birds' voyage, we employ three ultralight aircrafts, and four to five vehicles on the ground: RVs for living quarters, tracking vans, an aircraft trailer and two trailers with portable pens where the birds can roost at each stopover," added Bellemer. "Fuel costs represent a large portion of our budget."

Operation Migration developed a technique for teaching precocial birds to migrate using light aircraft acting as surrogate parents. Working with the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, the team leads a new generation of Whooping cranes from Wisconsin to Florida each year. There are now more than 100 of these magnificent birds migrating in the new eastern flyway; the first since the 1870s. To learn more visit http://www.operationmigration.org/, and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter at https://www.facebook.com/OperationMigration or https://twitter.com/OperMigration.

Since 2009, the CITGO Fueling Good programs have rewarded more than 220 organizations, further helping them to do good in their own communities. Visit www.FuelingGood.com for more information. For regular updates and to join the conversation, "Like" CITGO Fueling Good at www.Facebook.com/CITGOFuelingGood and view videos of past winners at www.youtube.com/CITGOFuelingGood.

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 www.CITGO.com.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140307/PH78688
Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140109/PH43587LOGO

SOURCE CITGO

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