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.
Salazar, Bromwich Recruit Tulane Students to Public Service, Visit Deepwater Facility, Discuss Ongoing Oil and Gas Safety Reforms
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/26/2016
NEW ORLEANS, LA-- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael R. Bromwich today visited Tulane University in Louisiana, toured a deepwater drilling facility, and discussed Interior's ongoing efforts to promote safe and balanced development of our nation's offshore oil and gas resources.
In the morning, Secretary Salazar and Director Bromwich visited a Noble Energy facility in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 70 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana, where they plan to drill a well in 6,500 feet of water. Noble Energy, who received the first deepwater drilling permit approved by BOEMRE since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, was the first operator to successfully demonstrate in a permit application that it is capable of containing a subsea blowout if it were to occur. BOEMRE has approved operations for the drilling of ten deepwater wells since February 28, 2011.
“The deepwater operations that are resuming in the Gulf of Mexico are meeting the stronger safety and environmental protection requirements we have set, including the requirement that companies show they are prepared to respond to subsea blowouts and spills,” said Secretary Salazar. “Director Bromwich and I believe that the United States can and should set the gold standard for safe offshore energy development.”
Noble Energy officials and engineers gave Salazar and Bromwich a tour of the facility, which included a discussion of how Noble Energy has adapted and conformed to the Department's new and rigorous safety practices, including enhanced containment capabilities, the Notices to Lessees (NTL) N06 and N10, and the Interim Final Safety Rule.
In the afternoon, Salazar and Bromwich visited Tulane University as part of a campaign to recruit students from the nation's top colleges and universities to join the United States' offshore oil and gas regulatory program. Salazar and Bromwich met with students regarding careers in public service, including environmental science positions available at BOEMRE to do work in fields ranging from environmental studies to National Environmental PolicyAct (NEPA) review to environmental compliance – all of which are critical to the balanced development of offshore resources. Director Bromwich is visiting 12 universities around the country throughout April and May. To date, BOEMRE has already received more than 450 applications for positions during the recruitment tour.
“As we work to elevate the role of science in our decision-making, we must attract top-flight environmental scientists to conduct scientific studies, complete legally-mandated environmental reviews, and fill important positions in environmental compliance,” said Director Bromwich. “These aggressive recruitment efforts underscore our seriousness about environmental issues.”
Prior to meeting with students, Secretary Salazar and Director Bromwich toured Tulane University's environmental science laboratory facilities.