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.
WASHINGTON – Department of the Interior (DOI) today announced the winners of the Department's 2011 Environmental Achievement Awards. Winners included three individuals and ten teams of DOI employees who demonstrated extraordinary commitment to sustainable practices and environmental remediation at DOI sites.
The winners were diverse, and included: an initiative that cleaned up and recycled thousands of pounds of metal, tires and other debris from wildlife refuge lands; an innovative construction project that earned a LEED Gold certification; a revamped business system that allows coal industry auditors to operate in a completely paperless environment; and a “Sustainability Hero” who goes above and beyond to keep an Alaska office facility weather-tight and energy efficient through the harsh Northern winter.
An award was also presented to Xanterra, a concessioner in Grand Canyon National Park, which transformed the operation of the Grand Canyon Railway to be as environmentally sustainable as possible by retrofitting the inefficient 19th-Century steam locomotive to run on waste vegetable oil.
“Environmental Achievement Award recipients and honorable mentions represent the Department's most valuable resource: our creative, dedicated and resourceful employees. I am honored to present these awards to outstanding DOI professionals from various disciplines and locations who took the initiative and put in the extra work to make our lands and facilities cleaner and greener,” Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget Rhea Suh said. “My heartiest congratulations to this year's award recipients and honorable mentions—DOI appreciates their service and is proud of their leadership.”
The DOI awards convey high-level recognition to DOI employees and partners for DOI projects in the following categories: Sustainability Hero; Green Innovation; Lean, Clean, and Green; Good Neighbor; Green Dream Team; Building the Future; and Environmental Remediation.
The awards recognize departmental employees and partners who have attained exceptional achievements under Executive Order 13514 “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance” and for cleaning up contaminated land.
The award selection panel of environmental and procurement experts from DOI bureaus and offices, selects recipients and honorable mentions for recommendation to DOI's Senior Sustainability Officer. All nominations are screened to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
The scope of the DOI environmental achievement awards and categories reflect those of the GreenGov Presidential Award program. Only recent DOI award recipients and honorable mentions may be nominated for the GreenGov Award.
For more information about the award recipients and to review the honorable mentions, please visit www.doi.gov/greening.