U.S. Department of the Interior

  • Transcript:

    Hello, I'm Lisa Fogarty, with the U.S. Geological Survey -- we're at the Great Lakes Science Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and you're watching This Week at Interior!

    This Week at Interior  

    Secretary Haaland traveled to Michigan this week with White House Domestic Policy Council Director Neera Tanden and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland. During a visit to the Gun Lake Tribe, she announced the availability of $120 million to help Tribal communities plan for the most severe climate-related environmental threats to their homelands. The funding, supported by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, can be used by Tribes to adapt to these threats and safely relocate critical community infrastructure.  

    While in Michigan, Secretary Haaland and White House Domestic Policy Advisor Tanden also convened a roundtable on increasing Tribal access to capital. The conversation included Tribal representatives and leaders from financial, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors to discuss innovative approaches to expand economic development and investment in Tribal communities across the country. The Biden-Harris administration has made strengthening the self-determination and economic vitality of Tribal Nations a key priority. Last December, President Biden signed a historic Executive Order urging federal agencies to make their funding streams and programs fully accessible to Tribal communities.  

    Secretary Haaland visited the U.S. Geological Survey’s Great Lakes Science Center where scientists are leveraging funding from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to safeguard ecosystems in the Great Lakes and across the Midwest from invasive species like sea lamprey and zebra mussels. Tools like the Rapid environmental (e)DNA Assessment and Deployment Initiative & Network, known as READI-Net, are helping scientists with early detection of these damaging biological threats.

    Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Carmen Cantor this week visited the embassies of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia to highlight the United States’ continuing commitment to the Freely Associated States. In 2023 both island nations, along with the Republic of Palau, signed agreements to extend economic assistance provisions for the next 20 years. During her visit the Assistant Secretary also announced more than $4 million in Technical Assistance Program funding to these strategic partners through the Office of Insular Affairs.

    The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement this week awarded $400,000 in cooperative agreements for four watershed restoration projects in Iowa. The funds are part of OSMRE’s Watershed Cooperative Agreement Program -- they go to non-profit watershed restoration groups and other non-profit organizations for the construction of acid mine drainage treatment facilities that help restore the biological health of local streams.

    The National Park Service this week announced separate grants, each aimed at preserving history and telling the whole of America's story. More than ten and half million dollars will be awarded to 15 projects in eight states, as part of the Historic Preservation Fund’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities grant program. That program focuses on the repair of historic structures on the campuses of HBCUs.  

    And over $3.2 Million in grants will help to preserve and interpret World War II Japanese American Incarceration Sites. More than 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens, were incarcerated by the U.S. government following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

    And our social media Picture of the Week, this burrowing owl family at Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge in California. Unlike other owls, burrowing owls are active during the day, nesting in underground burrows and spending most of their time on the ground or on low perches.  

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    That's This Week at Interior!  

    News and headlines from Interior July 12, 2024