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.
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.
Institute would advance lessons learned in wake of oil spill; coordinate research and development activities
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, DC – In response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today proposed the concept of establishing an “Ocean Energy Safety Institute” designed to facilitate research and development, training, and implementation in the areas of offshore drilling safety, blowout containment and oil spill response.
“The Deepwater Horizon tragedy highlighted the importance of raising the bar on offshore drilling safety, practices and technology,” Secretary Salazar said. “The Institute would serve to coordinate and institutionalize the lessons and strategies learned from the oil spill so that the United States can stay at the forefront of drilling safety, containment and spill response.”
The Institute would be a collaborative initiative involving government - in particular, the Department of Energy and the United States Coast Guard - industry, academia and scientific experts. Because of the Department's regulatory responsibilities in this area, the Institute would be housed at Interior, but would seek to coordinate and prioritize research dollars from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources to create a center of excellence that would ensure that the United States remains on the cutting-edge of offshore energy safety.
The Institute would create a transparent organization that builds on the strategic collaboration of its members to address technological needs and inherent risks associated with offshore drilling, and deepwater drilling in particular.
Specifically, the objectives of the Ocean Energy Safety Institute would include:
Advancing safe and environmentally responsible offshore drilling through collaborative research and development in the areas of drilling safety, containment and spill response;
Developing advanced drilling technology testing and implementation protocols;
Understanding full-system risk and reliability for the offshore environment;
Developing an enduring R&D capability and an expertise base useful both for preventing and responding to accidents;
Developing training and emergency response exercises;
Increasing opportunities for communication and coordination among industry, government, academia and the scientific community;
Developing a larger cadre of technical experts who can oversee or otherwise participate in deepwater drilling-related activities;
Establishing cost-effective advances in technology for industry;
Creating a framework for regulatory predictability in a global market.
Secretary Salazar has reached out to potential partners in government, industry, and elsewhere to discuss the proposal and has asked that they share ideas regarding the Institute's formation and future operations by November 30, 2010.