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 Jewell Presents 2013 Partners in Conservation Awards
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/26/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today presented the Department of the Interior's 2013 Partners in Conservation Awards to 20 public-private partnerships that have achieved exemplary conservation results through cooperation and community engagement. Together, the 20 award-winning partnerships include recipients representing more than 260 organizations and individuals from across the United States and the world.
“The Department of the Interior is proud to recognize the accomplishments of those who are innovating and collaborating in ways that address today's complex conservation and stewardship challenges,” Secretary Jewell said at an awards ceremony at the Interior headquarters in Washington today. “These partnerships represent the gold standard for how Interior is doing business across the nation to power our future, strengthen tribal nations, conserve and enhance America's great outdoors and engage the next generation.”
The Partners in Conservation Awards recognize outstanding examples of conservation legacies achieved when the Department of the Interior engages groups and individuals representing a wide range of backgrounds, ages and interests to work collaboratively to renew lands and resources.
At the annual awards ceremony, the Department of the Interior celebrated conservation achievements that highlight cooperation among diverse federal, state, local and tribal governments; public and private entities; non-profit organizations; and individuals.
Several awards also have bi-national or international partners.
Welcoming senior leaders from the Government of Mexico, for example, Secretary Jewell was pleased to present an award to the “Minute 319 Bi-National Partnership” for implementation of the recent agreement between Mexico and the United States to cooperate on Colorado River water use and environmental issues. She also recognized the “Huron Erie Corridor Initiative” for cooperation on the international boundary between Canada and the United States.
The award winners also include innovative science research conservation partnerships such as the “Rigs to Reefs” and the “Ocean Renewable Energy Stewardship” programs, as well as landscape-level habitat restoration and conservation partnerships such as the Cienega Watershed in Arizona and Edwards Aquifer Initiative in Texas.
Other partnerships prepare America's youth to be the next generation of environmental stewards for public lands through participation in corps, service learning, STEM and other educational and employment experiences. Examples of winning partnerships with a strong youth component include the Groundwork USA Network, Klamath Tribal Leadership Program, Center for Land Based Learning, Great Plains Nature Center and others.
As an example of the scope and diversity of the 2013 winning partnerships, the “Minute 319 Bi-National Partnership” award recognizes agencies of the Mexico government, states in the Colorado River Basin, and water users and environmental organizations in both countries as well as partners from the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Likewise, the U.S.-Canada “Huron-Erie Corridor Initiative” brings together 34 federal, tribal, First Nation, state, provincial, local and nongovernmental groups.
Diverse partners in “The “Atlantic Canyons - Pathways to the Abyss” partnership include Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and USGS; the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; nine universities and colleges, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute; and four other private research organizations, museums and institutes. They collaborate on the use of robotic underwater vehicles and other cutting-edge tools to discover and research deep-water coral habitats.
A list of this year's twenty award-winning partnerships follows. More details about each partnership and the organizations involved can be found here.
Photos from today's ceremony are available upon request.