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.
DOI Approves California's Plan for the Coastal Impact Assistance Program
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Interior Department today announced its approval of California's plan for the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP), a major step toward providing more than $24.7 million in federal grant money to the state and 17 of its coastal counties. The approval of California's plan allows the state to submit grant applications for projects involving conservation, restoration, and protection of natural coastal resources.
“The Interior Department is glad to partner with the State of California and its coastal counties to fund projects that will restore and protect the treasured marine and coastal resources along the Golden State,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. “Projects outlined in California's plan will support the management of the state's coastal environments to ensure that present and future generations will be able to explore these natural wonders for years to come.”
Today California became the sixth state to receive approval for its plan for the CIAP when MMS Acting Director Walter Cruickshank joined California's Secretary of Natural Resources Mike Chrisman in a signing ceremony onboard the State's marine-patrol vessel Thresher, in Dana Point, CA. The Thresher is part of the California Department of Fish and Game's fleet of patrol boats. California's plan includes a grant application for $1 million to fund up-grades to existing patrol boats and to purchase new patrol boats used to enforce marine laws, investigate fish and wildlife violations, perform search and rescue missions, respond to marine environmental incidents, and to assist with marine research operations.
California's CIAP funds ($24.7 million) will be divided with 65 percent of the funding ($16.0 million), going to the State of California and 35 percent ($8.7 million), being divided among 17 coastal counties. California's CIAP Grant Program Announcement will be posted on www.Grants.gov tomorrow. The announcement provides instructions and guidance on the CIAP grant process. Funding is made available to the State and counties when the grants are awarded. California's CIAP Plan contains 89 projects.
The CIAP was created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Through the program, DOI provides $250 million in grants annually, from 2007-2010, to six eligible OCS oil and gas producing states – Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, California, Mississippi, and Texas.