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This Week at Interior November 22, 2013


November 22, 2013


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Hi, this is Teresa Chambers, Chief of the United States Park Police. You’re watching This Week at Interior.

 

THIS WEEK… AT INTERIOR…

 

No words are greater than those spoken here by a simple man, born in a log cabin, who not only saved the American union but also came to symbolize its greatest virtues of humility, honesty, and decency.

 

SECRETARY JEWELL WAS AMONG THE THOUSANDS WHO TRAVELED TO GETTYSBURG PENNSYLVANIA THIS WEEK, TO MARK THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S GETTYSBURG ADDRESS. THAT SPEECH, A MERE 272 WORDS AND DELIVERED IN JUST OVER TWO MINUTES, WAS PART OF THE NOVEMBER 1863 CEREMONY DEDICATING THE SOLDIERS NATIONAL CEMETERY FOR THOSE WHO HAD FALLEN IN THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG SOME FOUR AND HALF MONTHS EARLIER. 

 

We are reminded of the sacrifice of so many for freedom. We are likewise reminded of our long journey, still on-going, to fulfill the fundamental proposition that indeed all men and women are created equal and deserve the full benefit of this freedom that has been purchased at such great price.

 

SALLY JEWELL JOINED NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DIRECTOR JONATHAN JARVIS, PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA AND OTHER DIGNITARIES TO CONDUCT A NATURALIZATION CEREMONY. SIXTEEN NEW AMERICAN CITIZENS TOOK THEIR OATH OF ALLEGIANCE AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE ANNIVERSARY CEREMONY. 

 

FROM THE FIELDS OF PENNSYLVANIA TO THE SHORES OF SOUTH CAROLINA… SECRETARY JEWELL THIS WEEK VISITED THE CAPE ROMAIN NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE… THAT’S WHERE SHE MET WITH COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHO ARE WORKING TOGETHER TO TRY TO CONSERVE NEARLY FOUR THOUSAND ACRES OF LONGLEAF PINE HABITAT IN THE REGION. SHE CALLED THE EFFORT A MODEL OF PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS, AND CALLED ON CONGRESS TO PASS FULL FUNDING FOR THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND TO BOLSTER THIS AND OTHER CONSERVATION EFFORTS ACROSS THE NATION. 

 

SECRETARY JEWELL THEN GOT A FIRST HAND LOOK AT THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON A 7-MILE PATCH OF RAPIDLY ERODING SOUTH CAROLINA COAST KNOWN AS THE BONEYARD BEACH, ON BULLS ISLAND….A ONCE HEALTHY SHORE WITH A NEARBY MARITIME FOREST, THE IMPACTS OF STRONGER STORMS AND RISING OCEAN LEVELS HAVE TAKEN OVER THE TREES, LITERALLY PULLING THEM OUT TO SEA. JEWELL SAID THIS REMOTE BEACH IS A STUNNING EXAMPLE OF HOW RISING SEAS AND CHANGING CLIMATE ARE HAVING REAL IMPACTS IN OUR LIFETIME.

 

THE PRESIDENT’S ALL OF THE ABOVE ENERGY STRATEGY IS PAYING BIG DIVIDENDS WHEN IT COMES TO REVENUE… THE SECRETARY THIS WEEK ANNOUNCED INTERIOR HAS DISBURSED 14-POINT-TWO BILLION DOLLARS TO BENEFIT FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS IN 2013, THE *SECOND* HIGHEST YEAR ON RECORD. THE REVENUE IS GENERATED BY ENERGY PRODUCTION ON PUBLIC LANDS AND OFFSHORE WATERS… LOCAL GOVERNMENTS USE THE FUNDS TO MEET A HOST OF NEEDS, ANYTHING FROM SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION TO CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE, TO WATER CONSERVATION.

 

AND WHERE IS THE OLDEST SEAWATER ON EARTH? FROZEN UNDER THE SNOWS OF ANTARCTICA? LYING DEEP IN A DARK PACIFIC TRENCH? USGS SCIENTISTS HAVE THE ANSWER. THE OLDEST SEAWATER THAT HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AND DATED SO FAR... LIES *BENEATH* THE CHESAPEAKE BAY. THE ANCIENT SALTY GROUNDWATER, SOME 100 TO 145 MILLION YEARS OLD, WAS TRAPPED HALF A MILE DEEP UNDERGROUND AFTER A COSMIC COLLISION WITH A COMET OR ASTEROID ABOUT 35 MILLION YEARS AGO, IN WHAT WAS *THEN* THE NORTH ATLANTIC SEA… THAT IMPACT BLASTED A HOLE IN THE EARTH’S CRUST 56-MILES WIDE, AND HELPED FORM WHAT IS NOW THE CHESAPEAKE. THE USGS STUDY APPEARS IN THE NOVEMBER 14TH ISSUE OF NATURE MAGAZINE.

 

WE’RE OFF NEXT WEEK FOR THE HOLIDAY...AND WE WISH YOU THE HAPPIEST OF THANKSGIVINGS...THAT’S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR.