Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
Sustainability is an integral part of the Department of the Interior's (Department's) mission to protect America's natural resources and heritage, honor our cultures and tribal communities, and supply the energy to power our future. The Department initiated the development of its department-level EMS and the Sustainability Council in 2010 as part of a comprehensive organizational change integrating environmental management and sustainability considerations into its mission operations. The Council uses EMS to manage environmental and sustainability requirements from multiple statutes and Executive Orders 13423 and 13514. The Council follows the EMS conceptual model of "plan, do, check, act" to provide continuous improvement of operations. In November 2012, the Department's Senior Sustainability Officer (SSO) declared the department-level EMS conformant.