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.
Interior, Energy and Army Corps of Engineers Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Hydropower
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced today that the two agencies, along with the Army Corps of Engineers, will cooperate more closely and align priorities to support the development of environmentally sustainable hydropower.
They signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that represents a new approach to hydropower development – a strategy that can increase the production of clean, renewable power while avoiding or reducing environmental impacts and enhancing the viability of ecosystems. By signing the MOU, the federal agencies agree to focus on increasing energy generation at federally-owned facilities and explore opportunities for new development of low-impact hydropower.
“While hydropower is the largest source of renewable electricity in the nation, hydropower capacity has not increased significantly in decades,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “As the single largest owner of hydropower generation in the United States, it is important for the federal government to tap this valuable asset so it can continue to contribute to our clean energy portfolio and energy security.”
“As we build our clean energy economy here at home, we must explore and develop new technologies and new strategies for increasing hydropower generation in an environmentally sustainable manner,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. “With better coordination among federal agencies, a common-sense approach, and a focus on low-impact hydropower projects, we can supply more clean power for our economy.”
The MOU aims to increase communication between federal agencies and strengthen the long-term relationship between them to prioritize the generation and development of sustainable hydropower.
Objectives of the MOU include:
Identifying specific federal facilities that will be well-suited as sites for sustainable hydropower;
Upgrading facilities and demonstrating new technologies at existing hydropower locations;
Coordinating research and development on advanced hydropower technologies;
Increasing hydropower generation through low-impact and environmentally sustainable approaches;
Integrating policies at the federal level; and
Collaborating to identify total incremental hydropower resources at federal facilities.
The memorandum is supported by detailed action items that the agencies have identified as areas of collaboration, including Technology Development and Deployment; Green Hydropower Certification; Federal Inland Hydropower Coordination; Renewable Energy Integration and Energy Storage; and Regulatory Process Facilitation.
Today's MOU provides an opportunity for DOE to connect its hydropower research and development efforts with the agencies who own, operate, and regulate federal water projects. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation are the first and second largest hydropower owners in the United States, and their combined facilities represent approximately half of the country's hydropower capacity (close to 34,000 megawatts).
The Department of Energy undertakes research and development to advance the performance and efficiency of hydropower technologies and works to ensure that these technologies are deployed at U.S. hydropower facilities. To learn more about the Department's efforts, please visit: http://windandhydro.energy.gov/water_power.html.
The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation serves almost 4 million households by annually generating over 40 billion kilowatt hours at 58 power plants and an additional 1,000 megawatts at 71 private power plants. To learn more about the Department's hydropower efforts, please visit: http://www.usbr.gov/power/index.html.