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.
Salazar Statement on Shell Activities in the Arctic
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar released the following statement today after Shell announced it would not drill into oil-bearing zones in the Arctic this year:
“The Interior Department will continue to work with Shell as it oversees the company's preparatory drilling work and other data-gathering activities in the Arctic's Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. The Department has set rigorous safety, environmental protection and emergency response standards for any exploration activities in the Arctic, and throughout this process, Shell has demonstrated a commitment to those standards. Through Shell's efforts, tremendous progress has been made and valuable lessons will be learned as the company carefully and deliberately moves forward with Arctic exploration activities. As part of President Obama's all-of-the-above energy strategy, we look forward to continuing to work with Shell to maximize the remaining opportunities this drilling season provides while doing so in a manner that expands domestic energy production, creates jobs, protects people, and safeguards our natural resources.”