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.
Salazar Announces $1.4 Million Award to Texas to Seal Abandoned Wells in State Offshore Waters
Last edited 4/25/2016
NEW ORLEANS – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced a grant award for $1,397,050 to the State of Texas General Land Office for a project to seal in abandoned oil and natural gas wells in state waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
The funding through the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) will plug abandoned wells in bays and offshore waters to eliminate potential pollution threats to natural resources on the Texas Gulf Coast.
“I welcome this opportunity to join in partnership with the State of Texas to carry out this important conservation and coastal protection project,” said Secretary Salazar. “The Department of the Interior is proud to assist Texas in restoring and protecting natural resources through the Coastal Impact Assistance Program.”
The CIAP was created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Through the program, MMS will provide $250 million in grants annually, from 2007-2010, to six eligible Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas producing states – Texas, Alabama, Alaska, California, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
The allotted funding to Texas under the CIAP includes $48.6 million for each of the fiscal years 2007 and 2008 and $35.6 million for 2009 and 2010. Eighteen Coastal Political Subdivisions (counties) share in the funding of projects outlined in the state's approved plan.