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.
Ocean, Coastal and Great Lakes Policy Coordination
The Interior Department is one of our Nation's principal stewards for our Ocean, Coastal and Great Lakes resources and recognizes the vital connection between the health of our Nation's natural resources and human health and economy. Interior studies, manages and conserves watersheds, coastal lands and ocean waters to:
·provide robust scientific programs that inform decisions and reduce risk, ·ensure safe and responsible development of natural, mineral and energy resources, ·promote healthy and productive ecosystems through informed management and monitoring, ·protect native species and their habitats, ·provide rich cultural and recreational opportunities for the public, and ·support state, Tribal, regional and local partnerships.
The Office of Policy Analysis supports the Department of the Interior's Ocean, Coastal and Great Lakes Policy Coordination activities across Interior's Bureaus and with other Federal agencies. Through collaborative partnerships, Interior integrates effective multiple-use resource management from upland watersheds to deep oceanic waters. For more information on Interior's Ocean, Coastal and Great Lakes activities, please visit: http://www.doi.gov/pmb/ocean