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This Week at Interior May 16, 2014


May 16, 2014


A special ceremony on the National Mall to mark the reopening of the Washington Monument; Secretary Jewell joins Vice President Joe Biden in St. Louis as work continues on the revitalization of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial; the Secretary travels to Des Moines, Iowa for a meeting of the White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, and wraps up her Iowa trip with a visit to the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge; drought-stricken California is getting $20 million in water reuse and reclamation projects; and Interior observes National Police Week. 


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THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR…

 

THE WAIT IS OVER… THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT RE-OPENED TO THE PUBLIC THIS WEEK, 33 MONTHS AFTER IT WAS HEAVILY DAMAGED IN THE EAST COAST EARTHQUAKE OF 2011. SECRETARY JEWELL JOINED NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DIRECTOR JONATHAN JARVIS IN A CEREMONY HOSTED BY NBC’S AL ROKER AT THE FOOT OF THE MONUMENT… THE SECRETARY THANKED THE PARK SERVICE AND CONTRACTORS FOR GETTING THE REPAIR JOB DONE ON TIME, AND UNDER BUDGET… AND THANKED PHILANTHROPIST DAVID RUBENSTEIN FOR HIS 7 AND A HALF MILLION DOLLAR DONATION THAT REPRESENTED HALF THE COST OF REPAIRS. 

 

TODAY IS ABOUT CELEBRATING THE RE-OPENING OF THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT AND THE GREAT PARTNERSHIPS AND INDIVIDUALS THAT MAKE THIS DAY POSSIBLE. BUT TO ME IT’S ALSO ABOUT CELEBRATING THE EVERYDAY HEROES WHO MAY NOT HAVE A MONUMENT, BUT WOULD MAKE GEORGE WASHINGTON VERY PROUD OF THIS COUNTRY TODAY.

 

THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE TAKES VERY SERIOUSLY ITS JOB OF TAKING CARE OF THE PLACES AMERICA LOVES. AND WE COULD NOT ACCOMPLISH IT WITHOUT THE SUPPORT OF GENEROUS AMERICANS AND THE ENTIRE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

 

AFTER THE CEREMONY IT WAS TIME TO CLIMB THE HILL, AND GET ON BOARD THE ELEVATOR FOR THE 70-SECOND RIDE TO THE TOP… THE MONUMENT IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC FOR THE REST OF THE SPRING AND SUMMER FROM 9AM TO 10PM DAILY… YOU CAN GET TICKETS FOR THE FREE TOUR AT RECREATION.GOV. 

 

SECRETARY JEWELL IN ST LOUIS THIS WEEK, CELEBRATING ANOTHER SYMBOL OF OUR NATION WITH VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN… THE CONTINUED REVITALIZATION OF THE JEFFERSON NATIONAL EXPANSION MEMORIAL. THE VISIT TO THE GATEWAY ARCH CAME AS THE PRESIDENT ANNOUNCED A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN TO BUILD A 21ST CENTURY INFRASTRUCTURE AND MODERNIZE THE FEDERAL INFRASTRUCTURE PERMITTING PROCESS TO ACCELERATE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND IMPROVE THE COMPETITIVENESS OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY. TWO AND HALF MILLION PEOPLE VISITED THE ARCH IN 2012 ALONE, POURING MORE THAN 220-MILLION INTO THE LOCAL ECONOMY AND SUPPORTING NEARLY 39-HUNDRED JOBS. THE SECRETARY ALSO  SALUTED THE JOINT PHILANTHROPIC, CITY, COUNTY, AND FEDERAL PARTNERSHIP, THAT IS SUPPORTING THE REVITALIZATION OF THE GREAT URBAN PARK SLATED FOR COMPLETION IN 2016. 

 

A MEETING IN DES MOINES IOWA THIS WEEK, OF THE WHITE HOUSE TASK FORCE ON CLIMATE PREPAREDNESS AND RESILIENCE. SECRETARY JEWELL JOINED WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS AND STATE, LOCAL, AND TRIBAL LEADERS FOR THE GATHERING… THE PRESIDENT ESTABLISHED THE TASK FORCE LAST FALL… IT’S MEANT TO ADVISE THE ADMINISTRATION ON HOW THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN RESPOND TO THE NEEDS OF COMMUNITIES NATIONWIDE THAT ARE DEALING WITH THE VERY REAL IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE… AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE PRESIDENT’S CLIMATE ACTION PLAN.

 

THE SECRETARY WRAPPED UP HER IOWA TRIP WITH A VISIT TO THE NEAL SMITH NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE… THE REFUGE IS A PIONEER IN RESTORING TALLGRASS PRAIRIE AND OAK SAVANNA HABITAT THAT ONCE DOMINATED THE LANDSCAPE.  JEWELL MET WITH EMPLOYEES AND SAW FIRST HAND THEIR PILOT EFFORTS TO EMBED STRIPS OF PRAIRIE IN FARMED LAND, BENEFITTING BOTH FARMING AND CONSERVATION EFFORTS.

 

IT’S A SHOT IN THE ARM FOR DROUGHT STRICKEN CALIFORNIA… THE SECRETARY THIS WEEK ANNOUNCED 20-MILLION DOLLARS IN FUNDING FOR NINE WATER RECLAMATION AND REUSE PROJECTS.. PART OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S EFFORTS TO BRING GOLDEN STATE RESIDENTS RELIEF FROM THE STATE’S HISTORIC DROUGHT. THE PROJECTS ARE BEING FUNDED UNDER THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION’S WATERSMART PROGRAM, THROUGH WHICH RECLAMATION HELPS LOCAL COMMUNITIES INVEST IN MODERN WATER CONSERVATION AND OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS ACROSS THE WESTERN UNITED STATES. 

 

AND INTERIOR THIS WEEK JOINED THE NATION IN MARKING NATIONAL POLICE WEEK WITH A SPECIAL CEREMONY IN YATES AUDITORIUM. POLICE WEEK IS A TIME TO RECOGNIZE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS WHO SERVE OUR COMMUNITIES… IT’S ALSO A TIME TO HONOR THOSE OFFICERS WHO HAVE DIED IN THE LINE OF DUTY, AND TO REMEMBER THEIR FAMILIES.

 

THAT’S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR.