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.
The Environmental Management Integration Team (EMIT) provides Department-wide leadership to integrate sustainability into the Department’s business practices for operations and facilities and to reduce the Department’s environmental footprint.
EMIT responsibilities include participating on federal agency policy development and implementation teams, leading departmental policy and sustainable practices technical workgroups and implementation teams, and managing the Department’s federal and internal environmental reporting requirements.
EMIT is the designated lead for standing up and managing the operation of Department’s Sustainability Council (Council).
The Council is responsible for developing and implementing environmental compliance and other (Executive Orders) requirements through the Department’s environmental management system (EMS).
The Council consists of four management levels ranging from the Department’s Senior Sustainability Officer at the Assistant Secretary level to technical subject matter experts at the staff level.
The scope of EMIT’s sustainability leadership includes but is not limited to: sustainable buildings, electronic stewardship, carbon footprint reduction, EMS, environmental compliance, pollution prevention, and solid waste management. EMIT manages the Council and working groups in a collaborative and interdisciplinary fashion using consensus to reach decisions with bureau and office representatives.
The Team also manages the Environmental Achievement Awards and Earth Day celebrations, and serves as a resource to bureaus and offices for compliance assurance and awareness of federal and executive requirements.