November is Manatee Awareness Month; but no matter what time of year it is, manatees deserve to be celebrated. These amazing creatures fulfill a unique niche by serving as indicator species for ecosystems across the United States. Because of their reliance on the health of their habitat, manatees often act as a signal of their environment’s well-being. NOAA photo by Michael Buchanan.
Spring is coming early in 3/4 of national parks, according to a new study. Awesome? Not so much. As flowers bloom earlier every year, it’s disrupting the link between the wildflowers and the arrival of birds, bees, and butterflies that feed on and pollinate the flowers. In Shenandoah, an earlier spring is giving invasive plants a head start, and they’re displacing native wildflowers, leading to costly management issues.
Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
Readout of Secretary Salazar's Visit to Colorado's National Renewable Energy Laboratory Site
Office of the Secretary
GOLDEN, CO – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today visited the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) campus in Golden, Colorado where he toured the 327-acre campus' state-of-the-art facilities and met with scientists regarding ongoing research on the development, commercialization and deployment of renewable energy.
“Across the Administration, we're looking at ways to create jobs and strengthen the economy – and a big part of that is building a sustainable, clean energy future,” Salazar said. “The innovative research that they're doing here at NREL is playing a critical role in developing new technologies that can compete in the marketplace. When we talk about President Obama's ‘all-of-the-above' energy strategy, it starts in places like these laboratories.”
Joined by NREL Director Dr. Dan Arvizu, Salazar toured the campus and viewed construction underway for the new Energy Systems Integration Facility, a research & development center designed to help NREL work with industry partners to address challenges of incorporating renewable energy into the electrical grid.
Once completed, the 185,000-square-foot Energy Systems Integration Facility will be the nation's only facility that can conduct megawatt-scale testing of the components and strategies needed to safely move clean energy technologies onto the electrical grid "in-flight" at the speed and scale required to meet federal policy.
Salazar's visit comes on the heels of Interior's approval of the 31st utility-scale renewable energy project since 2009 as part of a Department-wide effort to advance smart development of renewable energy on our nation's public lands. The 17 solar projects, 6 wind farms and 8 geothermal facilities, when built by the companies, will provide approximately 7,200 megawatts of power to communities across the West, or enough to power nearly 2.5 million homes.
These achievements build on the historic expansion of renewable energy under President Obama, with energy from sources like wind and solar doubling since the President took office.