Mercury's surface in "enhanced color," a color scheme created to emphasize color differences. This is not what Mercury would look like to the human eye, but by applying mathematical analysis to images, color differences can be accentuated beyond those visible to a person.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial under construction.
The workers had to endure conditions that varied from blazing hot to bitterly cold and windy. Each day they climbed 700 stairs to the top of the mountain to punch-in on the time clock. Then 3/8 inch thick steel cables lowered them over the front of the 500-foot face of the mountain in a "bosun chair." Despite the dangers, no one was killed during the project.
Otters in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska.
The sea otter population of Glacier Bay has increased dramatically in the past 20 years. Ecologists consider sea otters a keystone species here. Otters consume vast quantities of clams, urchins, crabs, and other invertebrates and their presence creates ripples through the ecosystem. NPS photo.
Every day someone like you becomes a wildland wildfire fighter, a teacher, a trail-builder, a museum curator, or a park ranger. Discover your opportunities in national parks. Come to play. Come to learn. Come to serve. Develop your environmental leadership skills. Find a job. Be the next generation to preserve and protect these great places.
With more than 80% of Americans living in urban areas, urban parks are more important than ever. The father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, said of urban parks:
It is one great purpose of the Park to supply to the hundreds of thousands of tired workers, who have no opportunity to spend their summers in the country, a specimen of God's handiwork that shall be to them, inexpensively, what a month or two in the White Mountains or the Adirondacks is, at great cost, to those in easier circumstances.
Obama Administration Announces Major Steps toward Leasing for Offshore Wind Projects in Mid-Atlantic
Wind Energy Areas Moving Ahead in Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware; Secretary Salazar Streamlines Offshore Wind Applications
WASHINGTON — Echoing President Obama's State of the Union call for an “all of the above” energy strategy, the Department of the Interior today marked a major milestone for offshore wind energy along the Atlantic coast.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau announced that the department's renewable energy initiative has cleared an important environmental review, allowing Interior to move forward with the process for wind energy lease sales off Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware.
BOEM's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessment found that there would be no significant environmental and socioeconomic impacts from issuing wind energy leases in designated Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas off the mid-Atlantic Coast. Today, BOEM also published Calls for Information and Nominations for Maryland and Virginia to solicit lease nominations from industry and request public comments regarding site conditions, resources and multiple uses of the Wind Energy Areas.
“When it comes to powering our nation's homes, businesses and economy, we need to take an all-of-the-above approach to safely and responsibly developing our domestic energy resources,” Secretary Salazar said. “Offshore wind holds incredible potential for our country, and we're moving full-steam ahead to accelerate the siting, leasing and construction of new projects.”
In November 2010, Secretary Salazar launched the “Smart from the Start” wind energy initiative for the Atlantic OCS to facilitate the siting, leasing and construction of new projects. A critical piece of “Smart from the Start” included the identification of Wind Energy Areas, done in consultation with BOEM's intergovernmental renewable energy task forces and other federal agencies, and the development of the environmental assessment being announced today to simplify the leasing process.
Additionally, today the bureau announced the finalization of a first-of-its-kind lease form that will help streamline the issuance of renewable energy leases on the OCS. An essential tool to provide access rights to renewable energy resources, the bureau solicited public comment and conferred with industry, environmental nongovernmental organizations, and other stakeholders in the development of the form. Financial and other terms, as well as any site-specific mitigation measures, will be added to each individual lease before it is executed. The lease form is available today and will be effective 15 days following publication in the Federal Register at: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/public-inspection/index.html.
“We are moving toward commercial-scale offshore wind energy leasing in the mid-Atlantic and adding the necessary tools to offer those leases,” said Director Beaudreau. “We considered public input and conducted a thorough analysis to ensure future projects are sited in the right places, where the wind energy potential is significant and where environmental effects and conflicts with other uses can be minimized and managed.”
The agency prepared an environmental assessment of the potential impacts of issuing renewable energy leases, including reasonably foreseeable consequences associated with site characterization activities, such as geophysical, geotechnical, archeological and biological surveys in the Wind Energy Areas off Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware. The environmental assessment also considered potential environmental impacts associated with site assessment activities, such as the installation and operation of meteorological towers and buoys on leases that may be issued in these areas.
“Today's announcement opens up the ‘sweet spots' off the mid-Atlantic coast for development of our nation's remarkable offshore wind resource,” said Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes. “Interior will continue to do its part to build a world-class offshore wind industry that provides clean, reliable, home-grown power and the American jobs that come with it.”
BOEM will use this environmental assessment to inform future leasing decisions in the mid-Atlantic Wind Energy Areas and to review site assessment plans. If a lessee proposes a wind energy generation project on its lease, BOEM would prepare a separate site- and project-specific analysis under NEPA of its construction and operations plan, and provide additional opportunities for public involvement.