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This Week at Interior July 18, 2014


July 18, 2014


Philanthropist David Rubenstein donates more than $12 million to help restore Arlington House, a memorial to George Washington and the home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee; a new report show national parks continue to be economic engines for their local communities; the Obama Administration is dedicating nearly $10 million to help tribal communities deal with the effects of climate change; the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announces the proposed sale of 340,000 acres off the New Jersey coast for wind energy leases; USGS is testing the use of satellites to track polar bear movements in the Arctic; and it's a new global map of the planet Mars.  


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THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR…

 

THE PHILANTHROPIST WHO HELPED FUND THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT EARTHQUAKE REPAIR EFFORT IS AT IT AGAIN.. DAVID RUBENSTEIN THIS WEEK DONATED NEARLY TWELVE AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS TO HELP RESTORE ARLINGTON HOUSE, OVERLOOKING ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY AND  ORIGINALLY CONSTRUCTED TO HONOR GEORGE WASHINGTON… IT NOW CONTAINS A MEMORIAL TO CONFEDERATE GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE WHO RESIDED THERE BEFORE LEAVING TO EVENTUALLY TAKE COMMAND OF THE SOUTHERN ARMY. ONCE COMPLETED, THE RESTORATION WILL ALLOW VISITORS TO EXPERIENCE THE HOUSE AS IT STOOD IN 1860, WHEN THE NATION STOOD ON THE PRECIPICE OF THE CIVIL WAR. 

 

THE GOAL IS TO REMIND PEOPLE OF AMERICAN HISTORY. UNFORTUNATELY PEOPLE KNOW SO LITTLE ABOUT OUR HISTORY, PARTICULARLY STUDENTS...AND YOU KNOW, IF YOU GET A CHANCE TO TOUR THIS AND YOU THINK MORE ABOUT HISTORY MAYBE YOU’LL READ ABOUT IT MORE AND MAYBE YOU’LL GET INSPIRED TO REALLY LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR COUNTRY.

 

THESE ARE SYMBOLS OF THE NATION, IN MANY WAYS, OUR MOST IMPORTANT SYMBOLS OF WHAT THIS COUNTRY STANDS FOR. AND IF YOU TAKE AN INDIVIDUAL LIKE DAVID, WHO HAS BEEN EXTRAORDINARILY SUCCESSFUL WITH CARLYLE...HE WANTS TO GIVE SOMETHING BACK TO THE COUNTRY. AND IN MANY WAYS THERE’S NOTHING BETTER THAN TO GIVE BACK DIRECTLY TO THE PHYSICAL MANIFESTATIONS OF WHAT THIS COUNTRY STANDS FOR, LIKE ARLINGTON HOUSE. 

 

A LEAD PARK CENTENNIAL GIFT FROM RUBENSTEIN, THE DONATION COMPLEMENTS PRESIDENT OBAMA’S CENTENNIAL INITIATIVE FOR THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE IN 2016… THAT’S AN EFFORT TO INVEST WISELY IN THE PARK SYSTEM’S MOST IMPORTANT ASSETS, USE PARKS TO ENHANCE LEARNING, ENGAGE VOLUNTEERS, PROVIDE YOUTH TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES AND HELP THE PARK SERVICE MAKE BETTER USE OF ITS PARTNERSHIPS. 

 

A NEW REPORT OUT THIS WEEK FINDS NATIONAL PARKS CONTINUE TO BE HUGE ECONOMIC ENGINES FOR LOCAL COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY.  VISITOR SPENDING AT NATIONAL PARKS LAST YEAR SUPPORTED 240-THOUSAND JOBS, AND PUMPED 26-AND A HALF BILLION DOLLARS INTO LOCAL ECONOMIES. YOU CAN READ THE ENTIRE REPORT AT NPS.GOV.

 

 

SECRETARY JEWELL THIS WEEK ANNOUNCED THE ADMINISTRATION IS DEDICATING NEARLY 10-MILLION DOLLARS THIS YEAR THROUGH A NEW INITIATIVE TO HELP NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES PREPARE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE THROUGH ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION. THE ANNOUNCEMENT CAME AT THE FOURTH AND FINAL MEETING OF THE WHITE HOUSE STATE, LOCAL, AND TRIBAL LEADERS TASK FORCE ON CLIMATE PREPAREDNESS AND RESILIENCE… SECRETARY JEWELL SAID TRIBAL COMMUNITIES ARE OFTEN THE HARDEST HIT BY SEVERE WEATHER EVENTS SUCH AS DROUGHTS, FLOODS AND WILDFIRES

 

AS PART OF THE PRESIDENT’S CLIMATE ACTION PLAN, ANOTHER MILESTONE THIS WEEK FOR COMMERCIAL WIND ENERGY DEVELOPMENT IN FEDERAL WATERS… THE BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT ANNOUNCED THE PROPOSED SALE OF WIND ENERGY LEASES FOR MORE THAN 340-THOUSAND ACRES OFFSHORE NEW JERSEY. IF FULLY DEVELOPED, THE DESIGNATED AREA COULD GENERATE SOME 34-HUNDRED MEGAWATTS, ENOUGH ELECTRICITY TO POWER ONE-POINT-TWO MILLION HOMES. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE PROPOSED LEASE SALE AT BOEM.GOV.

 

USGS IS TESTING A NEW, HIGH LEVEL APPROACH WHEN IT COMES TO OBSERVING, TRACKING, AND COUNTING POLAR BEARS… IT’S USING SATELLITES. USGS SAYS THE EYES IN THE SKY ARE FAR LESS INVASIVE THAN CAPTURING AND TAGGING THE BEARS, WHICH IS ALSO CHALLENGING IN COLD, BARREN, AND OFTEN INACCESSIBLE TERRAIN. USGS SAYS SATELLITE MONITORING HAS THE POTENTIAL TO OPEN UP VAST, REMOTE REGIONS OF THE ARCTIC TO REGULAR MONITORING.

 

AND OUT OF THIS WORLD IMAGES THIS WEEK FROM USGS, WHICH HAS CREATED A NEW GLOBAL MAP OF THE PLANET MARS… THE MAP BRINGS TOGETHER OBSERVATIONS AND SCIENTIFIC FINDINGS FROM FOUR ORBITING SPACECRAFT THAT HAVE BEEN ACQUIRING DATA ABOVE MARS FOR MORE THAN 16 YEARS. THE RESULT? AN UPDATED UNDERSTANDING OF THE GEOLOGIC HISTORY OF THE SURFACE OF THE RED PLANET, THE SOLAR SYSTEM’S MOST EARTHLIKE PLANET AND THE ONLY OTHER PLANET IN OUR SUN’S HABITABLE ZONE. YOU CAN FIND THAT MAP AT USGS.GOV.

THAT’S THIS WEEK AT INTERIOR.