DOINews: NPS: President Obama Visits Everglades for Earth Day

Last edited 09/05/2019

President Obama reaching out the students from Dante B. Fascell Elementary School in Everglades National Park.President Obama reaches out to students from Dante B. Fascell Elementary School in Everglades National Park. Photo by Jeffrey Olson, NPS.

In honor of Earth Day, President Obama visited Everglades National Park yesterday with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis to discuss the impact that climate change is having on America's natural and cultural resources.

The president also made several NPS-related announcements, including the selection of the Centennial Challenge projects. More than 100 projects will leverage a $10 million congressional appropriation with $15.9 million matching funds from more than 90 partner organizations. From trail repairs to new wayside interpretive panels, road and bridge repairs and programs to engage youth, the Centennial Challenge projects are designed to improve visitor services, support outreach to new audiences, and leverage partnerships to reinvigorate national parks while forging connections with communities to prepare parks for the centennial.

Jarvis said that “Turning a $10 million congressional appropriation into $26 million for national parks isn't magic, but it tells us people love their national parks and want to make personal contributions to help ensure future generations will be able to learn about the stories of America's natural landscapes and our cultural and historic riches.”

Another exciting announcement is that the Department of the Interior and NPS have designated the Marjory Stoneman Douglas House in Miami, Florida as the nation's newest national historic landmark. Additionally, a total of $3 million in grants funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund will assist these eight cities in constructing and enhancing parks and other outdoor-recreation facilities in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Projects include the renovation of an athletic complex in Detroit, Mich., and the construction of a new skate park in Madison, Wis.

The president also announced the release of the 2014 NPS Visitor Spending Effects Report showing that every $1 invested by American taxpayers in the NPS returns $10 to the U.S. economy. In 2014, a record 293 million national park visitors spent $15.7 billion in communities around national parks, providing a $29.7 billion benefit to the U.S. economy and supporting 277,000 jobs.

Other mentions include the release of an NPS and U.S. Geological Survey report titled Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration in the National Parks that, for the first time, calculates the value of national parks for storing carbon and mitigating climate change. The report concludes that national park lands in the lower 48 states store 14.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year,and that providing this service is valued at more than $580 million each year.

By: Centennial, Partnership and Communications Offices, NPS

April 27, 2015

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