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.
Interior Signs Memorandum of Understanding with International Group of Protection & Indemnity Clubs
Last edited 4/26/2016
Colin Williams, representing the International Group of Protection & Indemnity Clubs, and Lori Faeth, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, representing Department of the Interior, sign a MOU on November 1, 2011 at Interior Headquarters in Washington, DC. Photo credit: Tami Heilemann, DOI.
On November 1, the Department of the Interior’s Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Group of Protection & Indemnity Clubs, a 160-year old, London-based association of 13 mutual insurance companies. The International Group of Protection & Indemnity Clubs insures over 90% of the world’s container ship tonnage and 95% of all ocean-going tanker ships, including liabilities arising from oil spills.
This MOU promotes rapid and cost-effective restoration of injured natural resources following ship-sourced oil spills covered by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Specific provisions in the MOU provide for regular exchange of technical information, mutual training, prompt notification of ship-sourced oil spills and coordination among technical representatives during an oil spill.
Examples of notable oil spills that the Department of the Interior and the International Group of Protection & Indemnity Clubs have cooperatively worked on together include: the November 7, 2007 M/V Cosco Busan oil spill in San Francisco Bay, California; the January 19. 1996 barge North Cape oil spill in Block Island Sound, Rhode Island; and, the April 27, 2003 barge Bouchard B-120 oil spill in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts.