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.
Secretary Salazar, Deputy Secretary Hayes, BSEE Director Watson to Visit Norway for Ministerial Forum on Offshore Energy Safety
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will travel to Trondheim, Norway, on June 25-28 to continue his ongoing dialogue with international counterparts, government officials and oil and gas industry leaders regarding the safe and responsible development of offshore energy resources.
The discussions and meetings Secretary Salazar will hold in Norway, at the invitation of Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe, are geared toward informing the Obama administration's goals of expanded safe and responsible production of our domestic resources while ensuring the strongest possible safety and environmental oversight of offshore oil and gas activities on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.
In response to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration undertook the most aggressive and comprehensive reforms to offshore oil and gas regulation and oversight in U.S. history. As part of a shared commitment to reduce the risks associated with offshore drilling around the world, Secretary Salazar will meet with ministers and senior government officials from nations engaged in offshore oil and gas operations to discuss these historic reforms and share best practices and lessons learned in offshore oil and gas development, including in the Arctic.
Secretary Salazar will be joined by a U.S. delegation including Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Director James A. Watson. Their trip will include a visit to an offshore oil facility and a roundtable discussion on sustainable Arctic energy development with international counterparts and other officials and stakeholders.
The trip builds on last year's Ministerial Forum on Offshore Drilling Containment, hosted by Secretary Salazar in Washington, D.C., which included interactive discussions on well containment and lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.