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.
Trips by Top Leaders to Inspect All-Hands-on-Deck Response Total 28
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON - At the direction of the President, Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco will return to the Gulf region next week as they continue their work, aggressively responding to the BP oil spill.
These officials' actions on scene will be coordinated by National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen, who is leading the administration-wide response and directing all interagency activities.
Administrator Jackson will make her fourth trip to the Gulf Coast to inspect coastline protection and cleanup activities and meet with community members to discuss ongoing efforts to mitigate the oil's impacts on public health and the environment. A native of the Gulf region, Administrator Jackson will spend a total of six days on the ground, visiting Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to review plans for cleanup of oil-impacted wetlands and marshes, analyze scientific monitoring of dispersant use, and ensure that recovery and cleanup plans are proceeding quickly.
Secretary Salazar will make his eighth trip to the area to meet with top BP officials, federal personnel and government scientists in Houston to get a firsthand account of the on-scene direction and oversight of BP's efforts to cap the leaking well. He will also participate in discussions with state, local and business leaders to discuss the ways the administration is supporting their communities during this catastrophe.
Administrator Lubchenco will make her third visit to the affected area to meet with top government and independent scientists and engineers who are working with BP and coordinating efforts across the federal government to ensure the best science is used to assess and mitigate the BP oil spill's impacts to the environment.
President Obama visited the affected area for the second time yesterday to view the administration's all-hands-on-deck response to this unprecedented disaster. He spoke to the frustration felt by those in the local community and across America and discussed extensively what he saw touring the tragedy this morning. The President also commended those in the area who have “rolled up their sleeves” to help with the clean up, saying that “we're in this together.”
In total, senior administration officials have visited the region 28 times since BP's oil rig exploded on April 20—including trips by the President, National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen, Interior Secretary Salazar, EPA Administrator Jackson, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, NOAA Administrator Lubchenco and SBA Administrator Karen Mills.