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.
Secretary Salazar Names Rear Admiral James A. Watson as New Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today named Rear Admiral James A. Watson IV as the Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). BSEE was one of the two agencies to succeed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) on Oct. 1, 2011. Admiral Watson will begin as BSEE Director on December 1, 2011, and will succeed Michael R. Bromwich.
Admiral Watson is currently the U.S. Coast Guard's Director of Prevention Policy for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship in Washington, D.C. He served as the Deputy Commander of the Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command in April 2010, and, on June 1, 2010, was designated as the Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the all-of-government response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Admiral Watson has the experience, leadership, and vision that BSEE needs to be successful in establishing and enforcing safety and environmental protections for offshore oil and gas operations,” said Secretary Salazar. “Admiral Watson will bring to the job a distinguished record, a commitment to tough and fair-minded enforcement, and the determination to advance our reform agenda for the benefit of the American people and industry.”
"The safe and responsible production of oil and gas from our nation's oceans is vital to our energy security," said Admiral Watson. "I look forward to leading the dedicated BSEE professionals to ensure each and every offshore operation is safe, secure, and environmentally sound."
Prior to serving at Atlantic Area Command, Rear Admiral Watson was promoted to Rear Admiral in 2007 as the Director of Prevention Policy for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship, where he was responsible for Waterways Management, Boating Safety, Commercial Vessel Safety and Security, Ports and Cargo Safety and Security, Maritime Investigations, and Quality Traveling Inspectors.
In naming Admiral Watson, Secretary Salazar praised outgoing director Bromwich, who was brought into the department in June 2010 to serve as director of the then-BOEMRE and to oversee the fundamental restructuring of the agency. Director Bromwich led regulatory and institutional reforms that have significantly strengthened oversight and regulation of offshore oil and gas development. Bromwich will stay on through the month of December as a Counselor to the Secretary to ensure a smooth transition of leadership. He will leave the Department at the end of December.
“With Director Bromwich's leadership, commitment to public service, and focus on delivering results, we implemented the most significant reforms to offshore oil and gas safety in U.S. history, while continuing to take steps to safely and responsibly expand domestic energy production,” said Secretary Salazar. “I deeply appreciate his enormous contributions and tireless work on behalf of the nation.”
BSEE is responsible for enforcing safety and environmental regulations for oil and gas operations on the Outer Continental Shelf. BSEE's functions include: permitting and research, inspections, offshore regulatory programs, oil spill response, and newly formed training and environmental compliance functions.