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.
WASHINGTON – Furthering President Obama’s comprehensive Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop domestic clean energy resources and cut carbon pollution, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Acting Director Walter Cruickshank today announced that 122,405 acres offshore Kitty Hawk, North Carolina will be offered in a commercial wind lease sale on March 16, 2017.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates how our collaborative efforts with Federal, state and local partners over the past eight years have built a foundation to harness the enormous potential of offshore wind energy,” said Secretary Jewell. “The lease sale underscores the growing market demand for renewable energy and strong industry interest in meeting that demand.”
The Kitty Hawk lease sale is the latest effort in the Obama Administration’s renewable energy program at the U.S. Department of the Interior, which recently marked the operational launch of the nation’s first offshore wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island, and the lease sale for over 79,000 acres offshore New York. To date, BOEM has held six competitive lease sales, which have generated over $58 million in high bids for more than one million acres in federal waters.
The Kitty Hawk lease area begins about 24 nautical miles from shore and extends 25.7 nautical miles in a general southeast direction. Its seaward extent ranges from 13.5 nautical miles in the north to .6 of a nautical mile in the south. A map of the lease area can be found here.
“This is a significant milestone for North Carolina and our country as we continue to make progress on diversifying our nation’s energy portfolio,” said Acting Director Cruickshank. “BOEM looks forward to overseeing a successful lease sale in March, to contribute to the region’s energy supply and assist local governments in achieving their goals for energy independence and job creation.”
Today’s announcement also identifies nine companies that BOEM has deemed legally, technically and financially qualified to participate in the upcoming lease sale:
Avangrid Renewables, LLC
Enbridge Holdings (Green Energy) LLC
Shell WindEnergy Inc.
Northland Power America Inc.
Wind Future LLC
Outer Banks Ocean Energy, LLC
PNE Wind USA, Inc.
Statoil Wind US LLC
wpd offshore Alpha LLC
The Final Sale Notice contains relevant information, such as deadlines and milestones for bidders, the area available for leasing, lease provisions and conditions, auction details, criteria for evaluating bids, award procedures and lease execution.
Under the terms of the Final Sale Notice, which will be published in the Federal Register on January 19, the lease area will be auctioned as Lease OCS-A 0508.
In September 2015, BOEM published a revised environmental assessment (EA) for commercial wind lease issuance and related activities within the three North Carolina Wind Energy Areas (WEA) (i.e., Kitty Hawk WEA, Wilmington East WEA, and Wilmington West WEA) offshore North Carolina. The EA considers reasonably foreseeable environmental and socioeconomic impacts from issuing a renewable energy lease and conducting site characterization (e.g., surveys) and assessment (e.g., installation and operation of meteorological towers and buoys) activities in the designated offshore area.
As a result of the analysis in the revised EA, BOEM issued a Finding of No Significant Impact, which concluded that reasonably foreseeable environmental effects associated with the issuance of commercial wind leases and related activities would not significantly impact the environment.
The Wilmington East and Wilmington West WEAs, due to their proximity and shared attributes, have been coupled with the planning and leasing process for the South Carolina Call Areas. More information about South Carolina’s leasing process can be found here: http://www.boem.gov/South-Carolina/.