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.
Secretaries Salazar and Chu Convene Federal, Industry Officials to Discuss Deepwater Blowout Containment
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In remarks today at a joint Department of the Interior and Department of Energy forum, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar pledged that the U.S. Government will be fully engaged in the effort to develop a robust capability to handle deepwater blowouts on the Outer Continental Shelf.
“To achieve our objective of safer offshore energy production, we must eliminate the gap between the technology and knowledge that allows oil and gas companies to tap reserves beneath 5,000 feet of water - and the technologies and strategies that allow us to deal with emergencies at those depths,” Salazar told a meeting of U.S. government, industry, and stakeholder leaders and experts.
“Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and I have convened this meeting to discuss the increased understanding we now have on how to strengthen blowout containment capabilities,” Salazar said. “It is my hope that today's discussion will help guide reforms that are raising the bar for the oil and gas industry's practices, as well as to help inform recommendations on whether and how to lift the current deepwater drilling suspension.”
Salazar noted that the Obama administration has executed the most aggressive offshore drilling reforms in the nation's history in response to the Deepwater Horizon blowout and spill. “Our goal,” the Secretary said, “is simple: to raise the bar on safety and environmental protections so that deepwater drilling can safely resume.”
In addition to Secretaries Salazar and Chu, the participants included Interior Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes; Dr. Marcia McNutt, Director, United States Geological Survey; Dr. Tom Hunter, former Director, Sandia National Laboratory; Michael R. Bromwich, Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement; Ret.. Adm. Thad Allen, National Incident Commander; Rear Admiral Brian M. Salerno, Deputy Commandant for Operations, United States Coast Guard; Andrew Inglis, Chief Executive of Exploration & Production, BP; Rex W. Tillerson, Chairman& CEO, ExxonMobil; Hon. Don Winter, PhD, National Academy of Eningeering; and Elgie Holstein, Environmental Defense Fund.