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 Announces $134.3 Million in Economic Recovery Investments to Improve Water Reclamation and Reuse in the West
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Bureau of Reclamation has identified 27 water reclamation and reuse projects that will share in a total of $134.3 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
These water projects – known as “Title XVI” projects for the title of Public Law 102-575 that established the program – facilitate the reclamation and reuse of wastewater and naturally impaired ground and surface waters.
The $134.3 million for these projects is part of President Barack Obama's $1 billion investment of ARRA funding provided by the Department of the Interior for water projects across the West. In April, Secretary Salazar announced an additional $260 million in ARRA funding to address California's current drought conditions and to meet the state's long-term water supply infrastructure needs. Today's announcement brings total funding for California water-related activities funding under the Interior portion of ARRA to $381 million.
These 27 projects will team non-federal sponsors with local communities and the federal government to provide growing communities with new sources of clean water while promoting water and energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Federal funding will be leveraged to construct a total of more than $675 million in Title XVI projects.
“The Bureau of Reclamation is known for its forward-looking partnerships with local communities and governments to provide reliable, efficient water across 17 Western states,” Secretary Salazar said. “These ARRA funds will continue that tradition – creating economic opportunities and local jobs while infusing some of the nation's most drought- ravaged areas with expanded water supplies and a brighter outlook for the future.”
In order to fulfill the intent of ARRA to rapidly create jobs and provide stimulus to the economy, the Bureau of Reclamation sent a letter to potentially eligible project sponsors to explain how to request federal funds provided under ARRA and to outline the associated requirements, responsibilities, and criteria. All requests for funds on behalf of Title XVI projects were submitted to Reclamation. Reclamation developed a team to review submittals, score requests and prioritize Title XVI projects for funding.
“President Obama's economic recovery plan is meant to quickly aid Americans by providing jobs, improving infrastructure and paving the way for tomorrow's success,” Secretary Salazar said today. “We CAN do this if we work together—it is a great investment in our future.”
Of the nearly $135 million in funding announced by the Department today, the Bureau of Reclamation will utilize about $4.2 million – or 3 percent – to ensure the projects' compliance with federal regulations and statutes as well as adherence to the Recovery Act goals.
Recipients of the Title XVI funding announced today must meet specific requirements such as demonstrating complete compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and other environmental laws; have an approved determination of financial capability; a feasibility study that meets the established requirements of Title XVI; an approved determination of financial capability; and an executed cooperative agreement for financial assistance.
Secretary Salazar has pledged quick and responsible implementation of the $3 billion in Recovery funds that will be used by the Department of the Interior and its agencies.
“President Obama and this Department have ambitious goals to build America's new energy future, to protect and restore our treasured landscapes and to create a 21st Century Youth Conservation Corps,” added Salazar. “These Bureau of Reclamation projects will help us fulfill these goals while helping American families and their communities prosper again.”
The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on www.recovery.gov and on www.interior.gov/recovery. Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force. Henderson and the Task Force will work closely with the Department of the Interior's Inspector General to ensure that the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility and transparency that President Obama has set.
[Editor's Note: A state-by-state listing of the 27 projects selected for funding under the Bureau of Reclamation's Title XVI program is attached.]