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This Week at Interior November 1, 2013


November 1, 2013


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THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR…

 

A MAJOR ADDRESS THIS WEEK BY SECRETARY SALLY JEWELL ON CONSERVATION… IN A SPEECH AT THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB, THE SECRETARY LAID OUT HER VISION, NOTING THAT WE HAVE A MORAL OBLIGATION AS A PEOPLE TO ACT NOW TO CONSERVE AND PROTECT OUR NATIONAL TREASURES FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS. 

IN THE WAKE OF THE 16-DAY GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN, JEWELL HIGHLIGHTED THE NEED FOR COMMONSENSE, BIPARTISAN CONGRESSIONAL ACTION TO SUPPORT OUR PARKS, REFUGES, RIVERS, AND CONSERVATION LANDS.

 

We're continuing to move ahead in fulfilling our mission at the Interior Department. As stewards of our public lands, waters and wildlife; in partnership with tribal nations, states, and stakeholders, we will meet the needs of the present generation without sacrificing the rich legacy we pass on to our children and grandchildren.  This is our commitment to all Americans and my personal commitment to you.

 

JEWELL ALSO LAID OUT AMBITIOUS GOALS TO ENGAGE THE NEXT GENERATION THROUGH EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT AND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES ON PUBLIC LANDS. THESE TARGETS INCLUDE PROVIDING OUTDOOR EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES TO AT LEAST TEN MILLION OF THE NATION'S K THROUGH 12 STUDENTS ANNUALLY... ENGAGING ONE MILLION VOLUNTEERS IN SUPPORT OF PUBLIC LANDS...EFFECTIVELY TRIPLING THE NUMBERS WE HAVE NOW... AND PROVIDING 100-THOUSAND WORK AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES TO YOUNG PEOPLE ON OUR PUBLIC LANDS.

 

ON THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF HURRICANE SANDY, THE SECRETARY THIS WEEK WAS JOINED BY VIRGINIA’S SENATOR TIM KAINE AND CONGRESSMAN JIM MORAN, IN ANNOUNCING THE LAUNCH OF A 100-MILLION DOLLAR COMPETITIVE GRANT PROGRAM TO STRENGTHEN THOSE COASTAL WETLANDS AND OTHER NATURAL AREAS THAT SERVE AS BUFFERS TO PROTECT LOCAL COMMUNITIES FROM FUTURE STORMS... THE SECRETARY MADE THAT ANNOUNCEMENT AT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE'S DYKE MARSH WILDLIFE PRESERVE IN ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA… DYKE MARSH ONCE NUMBERED SOME 200 ACRES, BUT HAS DWINDLED IN SIZE TO FEWER THAN 60… UNDER A 25 MILLION DOLLAR PROJECT, ONE OF 45 ANNOUNCED LAST WEEK TO RESTORE COASTAL LANDS, THE MARSH WILL BE RESTORED TO ITS ORIGINAL SIZE, RE-ESTABLISHING ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR AREAS ALONG THE GEORGE WASHINGTON MEMORIAL PARKWAY, UNDOING A HALF CENTURY OF NATURAL AND MAN-MADE EROSION.

 

It’s limited the rich wildlife habitat, and the recreational opportunities for hiking, biking and other outdoor activities that help drive the economy of this region and help provide breathing space for so many people.

 

We need to work together in creative new ways to make sure that we protect what we have against, whether it’s weather emergencies or climate change, or over development… we have a lot of work to do, and today’s a good step forward.

 

JEWELL SAYS THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE WILL USE YOUTH AND VETERAN VOLUNTEERS AND CONTRACTORS ON THE PROJECT.

 

SECRETARY JEWELL IS APPLAUDING PRESIDENT OBAMA’S DECISION TO NOMINATE RHEA SUH AS ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR FISH AND WILDLIFE AND PARKS. SUH HAS SERVED AS ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR POLICY, MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET SINCE MAY, 2009. IF CONFIRMED BY THE U-S SENATE, SUH WILL PLAY AND IMPORTANT ROLE IN IMPLEMENTING THE ADMINISTRATION'S STRATEGIC VISION FOR OUR WILDLIFE AND PARK CONSERVATION PROGRAMS.

 

AND AS HALLOWEEN COMES AND GOES THIS WEEK, THE FOLKS AT THE U-S-G-S WILDLIFE HEALTH CENTER WOULD LIKE TO REMIND US THAT A SCARY SYMBOL OF THE SEASON, IS GOING THROUGH SOME SCARY TIMES OF ITS OWN. BATS HAVE LONG HAD A FRIGHTENING REPUTATION AND HAVE BEEN LINKED TO VAMPIRES, WITCHES AND WARLOCKS… BUT IN *REAL* LIFE, SCIENTISTS SAY THEY SERVE A VITAL ROLE IN OUR ECOSYSTEM AND OUR ECONOMY, BY CONTROLLING THE INSECT POPULATION THAT CAN DAMAGE OR DEVASTATE OUR CROPS. SADLY, BATS FACE A NUMBER OF DEADLY CHALLENGES, INCLUDING FATAL FUNGUS INFECTIONS, AND DANGER FROM WIND ENERGY TURBINES. SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS ARE CONDUCTING RESEARCH ABOUT WAYS TO REDUCE THESE THREATS TO THE TINY MAMALS THAT FLY BY NIGHT.

 

THAT’S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR.