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 Selects Town of Rockport, Thatcher Island Association as New Owners of Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse
Last edited 4/25/2016
ROCKPORT, Ma. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the selection of the Town of Rockport in partnership with the Thatcher Island Association to acquire the historic Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse, based on a recommendation by the National Park Service.
Under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, Salazar will forward his selection to the administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration, who will transfer ownership of the lighthouses from the U.S. Coast Guard to the new owners.
“Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse has marked the entrance to Rockport Harbor since the 19th Century and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987,” Salazar said. “By transferring ownership of the lighthouse to the Town of Rockport in partnership with the Thatcher Island Association, the American people can be assured that is this important part of our nation's rich maritime history will be preserved for future generations.”
The act, enacted in 2000, authorizes transfer of historic lighthouses from the Coast Guard to whatever federal, state and local agencies; nonprofits; or community development organizations can best protect them.
Under the act, the new owners must ensure the lighthouse will be used for recreational, historic, cultural or educational purposes and made available to the general public at reasonable times and under reasonable conditions.
The historic lighthouse is still active and has a green light that flashes every six seconds. Straitsmouth Island itself is owned by the Massachusetts Audubon Society as a bird and wildlife sanctuary.