Mercury's surface in "enhanced color," a color scheme created to emphasize color differences. This is not what Mercury would look like to the human eye, but by applying mathematical analysis to images, color differences can be accentuated beyond those visible to a person.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial under construction.
The workers had to endure conditions that varied from blazing hot to bitterly cold and windy. Each day they climbed 700 stairs to the top of the mountain to punch-in on the time clock. Then 3/8 inch thick steel cables lowered them over the front of the 500-foot face of the mountain in a "bosun chair." Despite the dangers, no one was killed during the project.
Otters in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska.
The sea otter population of Glacier Bay has increased dramatically in the past 20 years. Ecologists consider sea otters a keystone species here. Otters consume vast quantities of clams, urchins, crabs, and other invertebrates and their presence creates ripples through the ecosystem. NPS photo.
Every day someone like you becomes a wildland wildfire fighter, a teacher, a trail-builder, a museum curator, or a park ranger. Discover your opportunities in national parks. Come to play. Come to learn. Come to serve. Develop your environmental leadership skills. Find a job. Be the next generation to preserve and protect these great places.
With more than 80% of Americans living in urban areas, urban parks are more important than ever. The father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, said of urban parks:
It is one great purpose of the Park to supply to the hundreds of thousands of tired workers, who have no opportunity to spend their summers in the country, a specimen of God's handiwork that shall be to them, inexpensively, what a month or two in the White Mountains or the Adirondacks is, at great cost, to those in easier circumstances.
Interior Announces Nation's Second Offshore Wind Energy Lease Sale
Office of the Secretary
In September, BOEM will Auction Nearly 112,800 Acres Offshore Virginia for Wind Energy Development
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of President Obama's comprehensive plan to move our economy toward domestic clean energy sources and begin to slow the effects of climate change, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau today announced that BOEM will hold its second competitive lease sale for renewable energy on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The auction, scheduled to take place on Sept. 4, will offer nearly 112,800 acres offshore Virginia for commercial wind energy leasing.
In June, Secretary Jewell and Director Beaudreau announced the nation's first wind energy lease sale for an area offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts, which will be held on July 31.
“The competitive lease sale offshore Virginia will mark an important transition from planning to action when it comes to capturing the enormous clean energy potential offered by Atlantic wind,” said Jewell. “Responsible commercial wind energy development has the potential to create jobs, increase our energy security, and strengthen our nation's competitiveness.”
Under the terms of the Final Sale Notice, the wind energy area offshore Virginia will be auctioned as a single lease. The area is located 23.5 nautical miles from the Virginia Beach coastline and has the potential to support more than 2,000 megawatts of wind generation – enough electricity to power approximately 700,000 homes. As part of President Obama's comprehensive climate action plan, he challenged Interior to re-double efforts on the renewable energy program by approving an additional 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy production on public lands and waters by 2020.
The area, composed of 19 full OCS blocks and 13 sub-blocks, was selected after intensive work with the Commonwealth and stakeholders to avoid existing uses of the OCS offshore Virginia, including sensitive ecological habitat and shoals along the coast north of the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, military training areas, marine vessel traffic, a dredge disposal site, and areas of concern specified by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility. For a map of the Virginia wind energy area, click here.
In February, 2011 in Norfolk, Va., former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu unveiled a coordinated strategic plan to accelerate the development of offshore wind resources. As part of the ‘Smart from the Start' program for expediting commercial-scale wind energy on the federal OCS, Interior has identified Wind Energy Areas to spur responsible development of this abundant renewable resource.
“This lease sale announcement today is the culmination of an extraordinarily collaborative effort with our federal, tribal, state and local government partners,” said Beaudreau. “With the help of key stakeholders, including the wind industry, maritime interests and conservation organizations, we have identified an area offshore Virginia that is well suited for commercial wind energy development and thoroughly reconciled with the environment and other important uses.”
The area available for auction is identical to the one announced in the Proposed Sale Notice that was published in the Federal Register on Dec. 3, 2012, for a 60-day public comment period. BOEM carefully considered public comments before developing the Final Sale Notice. The Proposed Sale Notice, public comments and BOEM's responses can be viewed on BOEM's website by clicking here.
BOEM will publish the Final Sale Notice in the Federal Register on July 23. The following companies are eligible to participate:
Apex Virginia Offshore Wind, LLC
Virginia Electric and Power Company (“Dominion Virginia Power”)
Energy Management, Inc.
EDF Renewable Development, Inc.
Fisherman's Energy, LLC
IBERDROLA RENEWABLES, Inc.
Sea Breeze Energy, LLC
Orisol Energy U.S., Inc.
“After careful review, BOEM has determined that these companies are legally, technically and financially qualified to participate in the upcoming lease sale,” added Beaudreau. “We applaud their leadership and look forward to overseeing a fair and competitive leasing process.”
In addition to the list of eligible bidders, the Final Sale Notice contains specific information about deadlines and milestones for bidders; the area available for leasing; lease provisions and conditions; auction details; criteria for evaluating bids; award procedures; and lease execution and other information.
The sale is being conducted using an online bidding system and follows an ‘‘ascending clock'' auction format. BOEM will set an initial asking price for the lease area and increase that price incrementally based on the number of active bidders in each round until no more than a single active bidder remains in the auction.
For more information on renewable energy efforts offshore Virginia, including the Final sale Notice, visit BOEM's website by clicking here.