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.
Salazar Continues to Advance Renewable Energy Development on Public Lands
Approves Interior's 24th and 25th major renewable energy projects with Arizona's first solar project and a California wind project; Announces next steps toward offshore wind transmission line
WASHINGTON – Capping three years of efforts to develop renewable energy resources on public lands both onshore and offshore, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced approval of two utility-scale renewable energy projects—one wind and one solar—that, when built, will generate nearly 500 megawatts of power, or enough to power 150,000 homes, and create 700 jobs during peak construction. Secretary Salazar also announced the first major step in developing an offshore wind transmission line on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf.
“We have made steady and swift progress in carrying out President Obama's initiative for a rapid and responsible move to large-scale production of renewable energy on public lands,” Salazar said. “We have green-lighted 25 projects in the last two years, including solar, wind and geothermal facilities that are generating good jobs, strengthening local economies and laying the foundation for a sustainable energy future. Together, these projects will produce the clean energy equivalent of nearly 18 coal-fired power plants, so what's happening here is nothing short of a renewable energy revolution.”
The three announcements made today regarding renewable energy:
Salazar approved the Sonoran Solar Energy Project, proposed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, making it the first-ever project approved for construction on public lands in Arizona. The photovoltaic panels are expected to generate 300 megawatts, or enough to power 90,000 homes. The solar project will create over 374 jobs through construction operation and maintenance. For a fact sheet on the project, click HERE. Click HERE for a map.
Salazar approved the Tule Wind Project, located 70 miles east of San Diego, California, that will produce 186 megawatts of electricity via 62 wind turbines sited on public lands, or enough to power up to 65,000 homes. Proposed by a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, the project is expected to create 337 jobs. For a fact sheet on the project, click HERE. Click HERE for a map.
Salazar announced the next steps toward developing a Mid-Atlantic Wind Energy Transmission Line. Atlantic Grid Holdings, LLC has requested a right-of-way grant to develop a high-voltage direct current line that would collect power generated by wind turbine facilities off the coasts of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. The line would enable up to 7,000 megawatts of wind turbine capacity to be delivered to the grid. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management today opened a public comment period on the potential environmental effects of the proposal, and is also asking whether other developers are interested in constructing transmission facilities in this area in order to determine whether there is overlapping competitive interest. For more information on the announcement, click HERE.
“This proposal to build a ‘backbone' for an offshore electrical transmission system is an encouraging sign that there is significant interest in developing the infrastructure to support offshore wind development,” said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau. “We will conduct the appropriate analyses to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of issuing renewable energy right-of-way grants.”Salazar's announcements are the latest in a series of solar, wind, geothermal and transmission facility approvals resulting from Interior's renewable energy program that has focused the Department's resources to prioritize and process existing applications in a coordinated, focused manner with full environmental analysis and public review.
In the past two years, Salazar has used this approach to approve 25 major renewable energy projects on public lands. When constructed, the projects are expected to create nearly 12,000 construction and operational jobs and produce nearly 6,200 megawatts of energy, enough to power 2.2 million American homes. These projects include 15 commercial-scale solar energy facilities, three wind projects and seven geothermal plants.
Both projects approved today underwent extensive environmental review and reflect strong efforts to mitigate potential environmental impacts, such as reducing the wind project's footprint by half and altering the solar project's technology to reduce water usage from the 3,000 acre/feet proposed under the original plan, to about 33 acre/feet under the approved alternative.
“Avoiding impacts to resources is a key priority for us as we stand up renewable energy across the country,” said Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey. “The decision to approve these projects includes requirements to avoid or minimize impacts to cultural resources. For the Tule project, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and BLM worked with the company to minimize potential impacts to golden eagles by requiring intensive eagle studies to guide siting of wind turbines and by including measures to address avian issues if they arise.”
For a fact sheet on Interior's onshore renewable energy program, click HERE
For a fact sheet on Interior's offshore renewable energy program, click HERE