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.
Secretary Salazar Presents the Battle of the Atlantic Expedition with Partners in Conservation Award
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today presented a Partners in Conservation Award to the Battle of the Atlantic Expedition for collective efforts in the preservation of historic World War II shipwreck sites in the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” off the North Carolina coast.
In a July 2008 multi-partner mission, baseline data were collected in several sites that included underwater wreckage of German U-boats, British naval vessels, and US Merchant Marine ships lost during the war. This data, gathered through scientific mapping and photo and video documentation, will allow for future monitoring of both cultural and environmental changes of these “war graves.”
The program seeks to educate the local diving community on the fragile nature of these unique historic resources and their significance in telling the full story of World War II of the Atlantic coastline.
“The Partners in Conservation Awards demonstrate that our greatest conservation legacies often emerge when stakeholders, agencies, and citizens from a wide range of backgrounds come together to address shared challenges,” the Secretary said. “Through the commitment of federal, state and academic partners, the Battle of the Atlantic Expedition not only gathered valuable data on several shipwrecks that occurred during the World War II attacks off the North Carolina coast but also promoted the significance of the preservation of the maritime history of the United States.”
The Battle of the Atlantic award was one of 26 national awards to individuals and organizations presented at a ceremony at Interior headquarters in Washington, D.C. to honor “those who achieve natural resource goals in collaboration and partnership with others.”
The 26 Partners in Conservation Awards recognize conservation achievements resulting from the cooperation and participation of a total of 600 individuals and organizations including landowners; citizens' groups; private sector and nongovernmental organizations; and federal, state, local, and/or tribal governments.
The expedition was brought together under the leadership of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. Project partners included the National Park Service's Submerged Resources Center, Minerals Management Service, East Carolina University's Program in Maritime Studies, University of North Carolina's Coastal Studies Institute; the University of North Carolina's Department of Cultural Resources, and the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island.