Valero Contributes $1M to Swamp Restoration Project

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L to R: Patricia Meadowcroft, Pontchartrain Conservancy board chair; David Campbell, Pontchartrain Conservancy board; Taryn Rogers, Valero Energy, manager, community relations and governmental affairs; Kristi Trail, Pontchartrain Conservancy executive director; Rob Martin, Valero Energy VP environmental, compliance and remediation; Jerry Stumbo, VP and general manager Valero St. Charles Refinery; and Danielle Bourg, director environmental and safety affairs

NORCO, La. – On Jan. 21, Valero Energy presented a check for $1 million to Pontchartrain Conservancy to fund a multi-year plan for local swamp restoration. Over the past decade, Valero has partnered with Pontchartrain Conservancy to provide both monetary support and volunteers to attend tree plantings. Collaborative efforts thus far include 80,000 trees planted and approximately 1,146 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent sequestered annually. In addition, they have worked to restore more than 400 acres of habitat.

The $1 million donation towards the multi-year swamp restoration will be utilized to include restoration areas in the Labranche Wetlands of St. Charles Parish and surrounding areas, as well as St. Bernard Parish, where Valero currently has a facility. Other proposed areas include the Caernarvon, Maurepas and Mandeville areas. Anticipated project activities include environmental monitoring, swamp restoration suitability analysis, restoration planting and the engagement of our local community especially among students in our school system

“Valero and Pontchartrain Conservancy partnered more than a decade ago primarily because of our similar values,” said Jerry Stumbo, VP and general manager of Valero’s St. Charles Refinery. “At Valero, we are committed stewards of the environment.”

“Louisiana’s communities and wildlife rely on healthy coastal areas to continue to thrive and succeed,” said Kristi Trail, executive director of Pontchartrain Conservancy. “We are immensely grateful for organizations like Valero, who continue to partner with us as we work toward the goal of restoring and rebuilding our essential wetlands. Not only does this assist in preserving our communities in the short term, but it ensures that coastal habitats are preserved for generations to come.”

Funding will be used initially for soil and water sample monitoring to determine where swamp restoration and tree plantings have the best chances to thrive. Once the exact locations have been chosen, the grant will also be used to purchase thousands of native trees and supplies for planting including shovels, gloves, tree guards, etc., and for rental of specialized travel boats to planting sites.

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