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.
Director Bromwich Discusses Offshore Drilling Reforms with Industry and Conservation Stakeholders
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Michael R. Bromwich, director of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM), and other officials from BOEM held discussions today with industry and conservation stakeholders and elected officials from Louisiana regarding offshore drilling safety issues and reforms that the agency is implementing to raise the bar for industry practices.
"As we move forward with implementing reforms to strengthen the safety of offshore oil and gas operations, it is vital that we hear from the public and from stakeholders who represent many different viewpoints," said Director Bromwich. "Secretary Salazar has asked us to quickly bring together ideas and input from the public and stakeholders to ensure we have the best information as we work to ensure that drilling is done right, done safely, and that communities and the environment are protected."
In a meeting with representatives of shallow water drilling companies and elected officials from Louisiana, including Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Louisiana Lt. Governor Scott Angelle, Director Bromwich said that shallow water drilling may continue to go forward in compliance with new safety requirements. Director Bromwich and industry officials also discussed steps that can be taken to help shallow water drillers implement the new safety standards effectively and in a timely manner. Director Bromwich committed to ensuring that BOEM provides clear and swift guidance on questions that operators may have as they move forward with shallow water drilling.
Director Bromwich also met with representatives from the drilling industry to discuss their progress in developing strategies and procedures for containing deepwater blowouts and responding to offshore oil spills.
Officials from BOEM also had discussions today with representatives from conservation organizations regarding the new offshore safety reforms and the deepwater drilling suspensions that Secretary Salazar recently ordered.
BOEM will be hosting a series of public meetings over the next several weeks to gather input and information about how to ensure that deepwater drilling is conducted safely and that operators are prepared to respond to blowouts and oil spills.
Status update on shallow water drilling permits
As of Friday, July 16, 9:00 a.m. EDT:
For those applications required to comply only with NTL-N05, 19 applications have been approved and 17 are pending.
For those applications required to comply with NTL –N05 and NTL-N06, 9 requests are pending.
In addition, since June 8, BOEM has approved 18 other shallow water permits, and 4 others are pending, to which there were no permit-specific requirements in either NTL. However, the applicants had to comply with NTL-N05's general (company-wide) certification requirements before these applications could be processed.
For the drilling permits that didn't need NTL-05 BOP information, most are revised permits for wells that have already started drilling.
These operators have resumed drilling or recently stopped drilling after reaching total depth.