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.
AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS: Best Beaches Belong to all Americans, Generate Billions for Local Economies
Photos for “National Oceans Month” Available
WASHINGTON, DC— Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today observed World Oceans Day and National Oceans Month by showcasing some of the economic benefits from the beaches in our national parks, seashores, lakeshores and wildlife refuges – beaches that belong to all Americans.
“From coast to coast, our national beaches generate billions in economic activity and support tens of thousands of jobs through outdoor recreation and tourism,” said Salazar. “America's oceans and beaches are national treasures, and Interior is committed to helping implement President Obama's National Ocean Policy to help ensure that these vital resources are healthy and resilient.”
The Department of the Interior manages more than 35,000 miles of coastline, including 85 marine and coastal parks administered by the National Park Service;180 marine and coastal wildlife refuges administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and 1,100 miles of coastline of the California Coastal National Monument administered by the Bureau of Land Management.
Coastal and marine national parklands contributed an estimated $3.5 billion to local economies in 2010. For more information on the economic contributions of all national parks, see the entire National Park Service report, which includes information on visitor spending by park and by state, online http://nature.nps.gov/socialscience/docs/NPSSystemEstimates2010.pdf.
Coastal wildlife refuges were estimated to contribute at least $900 million according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service data. Bureau of Land Management lands like the California Coastal National Monument provided additional boosts to tourism and local economies.