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 Awards Grants in Eleven Western States to Improve Water Management, Supplies
Office of the Secretary
$20.8 million awarded to 44 projects that will conserve water for more than 400,000 people, enough energy equivalent for nearly 1,000 households
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor today announced 44 projects in 11 states that will receive $20.8 million in WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants from Reclamation. The complete list of projects is available at www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART/weeg.
"Throughout the West, we're seeing that drought, growing populations, energy demands and basic environmental needs are stressing our finite water and energy supplies," Secretary Jewell said. "These WaterSMART grants will help stretch water supplies and improve water and energy efficiencies in communities throughout the West to support sustainable uses of our limited resources."
Reclamation estimates that together the 44 projects could save more than 100,000 acre-feet of water annually – enough for more than 400,000 people. Through reduced pumping and the addition of more efficient equipment, these projects are anticipated to save 10.8 million kilowatt-hours annually – enough energy to power nearly 1,000 households.
"Water is a precious resource, and using it more efficiently is important to ensure a sustainable supply for agricultural, municipal and industrial use, recreation and for the environment," Commissioner Connor said. "Through collaborative programs such as WaterSMART, the federal government works with state and local entities to update infrastructure and improve operations to help meet water and energy demands now and in the future."
Any entity receiving funding must provide at least a 50-percent match to the Reclamation funding. Entities that are eligible for funding include states, Indian tribes, irrigation districts, water districts or other organizations with water or power delivery authority in the 17 western states, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands.
Examples of funding recipients include:
The Tranquillity Irrigation District near Fresno, Calif., will receive $300,000 to connect two separate District distribution systems to increase efficiency. The project is expected to result in reduced seepage, evaporation, and storage losses and save approximately 630 acre-feet annually reduce energy consumption by about 216,000 kilowatt-hours each year by reducing pumping.
The Southern Nevada Water Authority in the Las Vegas, Nev. area will receive $300,000 to assist its expansion of its existing landscape rebate program which provides financial incentives for residential property owners to replace turf with water efficient landscaping. The project will save approximately 448 acre-feet per year. Water conserved will be left in the Colorado River for instream uses and will contribute to existing water banks in California, Arizona and southern Nevada.
The Commonwealth Utilities Corporation in the Northern Mariana Islands will receive $300,000 to install 1,000 new advanced water meters for agricultural and domestic customers. The grant also includes the installation of the first-phase of a supervisory control and data acquisition system to better manage water delivery and is expected to save 1,562 acre-feet of water annually.
The Hoopa Valley Tribe in Northern California will receive $1.041 million to install more than 20,000 linear feet of new plastic pipe to replace a delivery system which includes open ditches. The tribe will also install an infiltration gallery, a new pump and meters to monitor water use. This new pressurized system is expected to save approximately 148,399 kilowatt-hours of energy annually.
"The Hoopa Valley Tribe will not only be able to improve its water system, but will also be able to keep the saved water in Soctish and Captain John Creeks, which eventually flow into the Trinity and Klamath Rivers. Here it will benefit threatened coho salmon and green sturgeon and help restore the river," added Connor.
Applicants applied to one of two funding groups. The first funding group included 25 projects that could receive up to $300,000 and generally are smaller projects that may take up to two years to complete. The second funding group included ten projects, which could receive up to $1.5 million for larger, phased projects that will take up to three years to complete. This will provide an opportunity for larger, multiple-year projects to receive some funding in the first year without having to compete for funding in the second and third years. Nine projects selected in the second funding group in FY 2012 will receive additional funding this fiscal year to finish their projects.
Proposals were ranked through a published set of criteria in which points were awarded for those projects that conserve water, incorporate renewable energy or address the water-energy nexus, address Endangered Species Act concerns, contribute to water supply sustainability, and/or incorporate water marketing.
The Department of the Interior established WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow) in February 2010 to facilitate the work of Interior's bureaus in pursuing a sustainable water supply for the nation. The program focuses on improving water conservation and sustainability and helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. It identifies strategies to ensure that this and future generations will have sufficient supplies of clean water for drinking, economic activities, recreation and ecosystem health. The program also identifies adaptive measures to address climate change and its impact on future water demands.
Since its establishment in 2010, WaterSMART has provided more than $159 million in competitively-awarded funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts, municipalities, and universities through WaterSMART Grants and the Title XVI Program. Through WaterSMART and other conservation programs funded over the last three years, a total of more than 616,000 acre-feet of water per year is estimated to have been saved.
Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. For more, visit http://www.usbr.gov.