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 MMS Plan to Establish Atlantic Renewable Energy Office
Last edited 4/25/2016
COPENHAGEN - Today, as he toured the Middelgrunden wind farm near Copenhagen Denmark, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that the Minerals Management Service (MMS) will establish a new regional office in 2010 to support renewable energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off the Atlantic seaboard.
“Given the enormous potential for renewable energy development, especially wind energy, in the Mid- and North Atlantic,” Secretary Salazar said, “MMS needs a dedicated Atlantic Region office as we plan for offshore renewable energy commercial leasing.”
The Atlantic OCS Region will be responsible for evaluating permits for renewable energy activities in an effective, efficient, and consistent manner while being responsive to the States, developers and other stakeholders.
The new office will implement and manage the offshore renewable energy program, including leasing, environmental programs, the formation of task forces, State consultation, and post-lease permitting in Federal waters off the East Coast.
In these first months of the Obama Administration, the Department of the Interior created the first-ever framework for offshore renewable energy development and worked with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to clear out bureaucratic obstacles to offshore renewable energy projects. The Secretary recently awarded the first-ever exploratory leases for offshore wind production on the OCS offshore New Jersey and Delaware.
At the state level, the governors of Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware have signed a Memorandum of Understanding creating a formal partnership to generate clean, renewable energy and a sustainable market. Immediate tasks under the agreement include identifying common transmission strategies for offshore wind energy deployment in the region, discuss ways to encourage sustainable market demand for this renewable resource and work collaboratively in pursuing federal energy policies which help advance offshore wind in the Mid-Atlantic area.
Secretary Salazar is attending the global climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, this week. On Thursday, he will deliver a keynote speech on Interior's efforts to build a clean energy economy and to confront the impacts of climate change.