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 Celebrates Completion of Tamiami Trail Bridge, Major Milestone in Ongoing Restoration of the Everglades
Restoration of Natural Water Flows to Everglades National Park Marks Completion of Modified Water Delivery Project
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Fla. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today joined Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy and other local officials to celebrate the completion of a one-mile bridge over the Tamiami Trail, the last structural component of the Modified Water Deliveries (MWD) project to restore natural water flows to the Everglades. “Thanks to a remarkable partnership between Federal agencies, Members of Congress, the State of Florida, and the many stakeholders here in South Florida, we have reached a historic day in the long quest to restore the water flows vital to a renewed and healthy Everglades,” Salazar said. “With the completion of this bridge and the Modified Water Deliveries Project, we are moving ever closer to our goal of restoring the River of Grass to ensure the health of this iconic landscape for future generations to enjoy while creating jobs and boosting Florida's economy.”
“Today marks a critical milestone for the Tamiami Trail Modifications Project. This one-mile bridge will allow a 92 percent increase in flows to Everglades National Park,” Darcy said. “But, there is still more to do. With the support of the Administration, the state of Florida and our partnering agencies, we will continue our work to restore this American treasure.”
Originally initiated by Congress as part of the 1989 Everglades Expansion and Protection Act, the MWD project aims to improve water deliveries into the park. The $81-million bridge, located in Miami-Dade County adjacent to the northern boundary of Everglades National Park, is part of the largest construction project in the history of the National Park Service. It will increase water flow by 92 percent over current levels to Northeast Shark River Slough and rehydrate and restore the 104,000-acre East Everglades portion of Everglades National Park, which Congress added to the park in 1989, all the way down to Florida Bay.
Florida Governor Rick Scott said, “This is great news for Florida and the Everglades. This project is a perfect example of how we can grow economic opportunities for Florida families while enhancing our state's natural habitats. We must build on this great work to protect our state's everglades – and that's why my Florida Families First Budget invests $60 million to protect and restore this natural treasure.”
The increased water volumes and improved flow distributions will re-establish seasonal water depths and flooding durations that are critical to the survival of many fish and wildlife species, including the federally endangered wood stork, Everglade snail kite, and Cape Sable seaside sparrow, as well as the state-listed Roseate spoonbill.
“The success of our partnership to complete Mod Waters will provide a foundation for other restoration projects as we address the need to improve the quantity, quality, timing and distribution of the water that makes the Everglades a unique ecosystem,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.
“This is a great day for Everglades National Park and all the staff and partners who have worked tirelessly for the past 24 years to make Mod Waters a reality,” said Everglades National Park Superintendent Dan Kimball. “We all share an enormous sense of accomplishment in completion of the one-mile bridge, a major step forward in the largest restoration project in the history of the National Park System.”
Salazar highlighted the significant progress he has seen on his 11 visits to the Everglades during the past four years, including a record number of construction groundbreakings and tens of thousands of acres of land protected or acquired for restoration projects and storm water treatment that will significantly reduce nutrient pollution entering the Everglades.
President Obama has made restoring the Everglades a national priority. Using the partnerships and community-led approach that is a hallmark of the President's America's Great Outdoors initiative, the Administration has reinvigorated federal leadership in Everglades restoration; since 2009, this leadership has included the investment of $1.5 billion in Everglades projects and initiatives that will make a measurable impact on the ground. Nearly $900 million of this funding was used to jump-start key construction projects to restore water flow and essential habitat. Last July the Administration released a report outlining the historic federal investments and progress made in Everglades restoration under the leadership of President Obama.