U.S. Department of the Interior

  • Transcript:

    This Week at Interior

    Secretary Haaland this week welcomed Mexico's Foreign Secretary, Alicia Barcena. She's been tapped for a new position in the Cabinet of Mexico’s President-Elect Claudia Sheinbaum -- the new Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources. They were joined by Mexico’s Ambassador to the U.S. Esteban Moctezuma Barragán and former Interior Secretary and current U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar. They discussed the two nations’ shared commitment to conservation and many areas of common interest, including the management of national parks and protected areas, restoration of ecosystems and water resources, and conservation of wildlife species.

    Secretary Haaland this week formally established Blackwell School National Historic Site in Texas as the nation’s newest national park. Built in 1909, the school serves as a significant example of how racism and cultural disparity dominated education and social systems in the United States during this period of de facto segregation from 1889 to 1965. The park is the seventh national park unit designated under President Biden.

    Acting Deputy Secretary Laura Daniel-Davis traveled to Massachusetts this week to highlight investments from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda and the Great American Outdoors Act. In Plymouth County, Massachusetts, she joined leaders from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local partners to tour projects funded by the Administration’s America the Beautiful Challenge that are helping to reconnect local habitats. She also visited the Boston Harbor Islands with local leaders and scientists to discuss the impacts of the climate crisis on the islands and the ongoing collaborative efforts to build climate resilience. And she visited Boston National Historical Park, where she joined a groundbreaking ceremony for Building 107 where the NPS is investing $81 million from the Great American Outdoors Act to build a modern and consolidated National Parks of Boston headquarters and maintenance facility.

    Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Carmen Cantor visited Thailand this week. She joined U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec to help launch “Virtual Jungle Thailand." That's an innovative digital campaign to promote U.S.-Thai wildlife conservation efforts and raise awareness about the threats facing endangered species in Thailand. The aim is to make a real difference in wildlife conservation by choosing virtual encounters over physical ones, reducing visits to petting zoos and tiger parks, where exploitation often overshadows the beauty of the country’s wildlife.      

    Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Elizabeth Klein took part in the ceremonial groundbreaking of the Sunrise Wind project this week. The project is located about 30 miles offshore Long Island's Montauk Point. Once complete Sunrise Wind is expected to generate more than 900 megawatts of energy, enough to power about 600,000 homes.

    With communities across the country and around the world facing a plastic pollution crisis, the Biden-Harris administration this week is taking action to reduce single-use plastics in all federal operations with the release of the first comprehensive, government-wide strategy to reduce plastic pollution during production, processing, use and disposal. Secretary Haaland issued an order two years ago to reduce the procurement, sale and distribution of single-use plastic products and packaging with a goal of eventually phasing them out on Department-managed lands by 2032.  

    And our social media Picture of the Week, the flash and flair of this painted bunting at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. The male bunting sports some of the most vibrant colors of any North American bird. Painted buntings are migratory, and they can be spotted from Florida to Oklahoma, with smaller populations hugging the coasts of the Carolinas and Georgia.

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    That's This Week at Interior!


    News and Headlines from Interior, July 19, 2024