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.
Trustees Release Final Restoration Plan for September 2002 Oil Spill from M/V Ever Reach, near Charleston, South Carolina
Last edited 4/26/2016
The oiled shoreline of Crab Bank, at the mouth of Shem Creek in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, caused by spill from the M/V Ever Reach, is shown in this October 6, 2002 photo. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources manages Crab Bank as a Seabird Sanctuary providing nesting habitat, winter loafing and feeding areas for a variety of seabirds and shorebirds. Photo credit: NOAA.
On May 15, 2012, the State and federal natural resource trustees released the publicly-reviewed “Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the 2002 M/V Ever Reach Oil Spill, Charleston, South Carolina.” The natural resource trustees in this case include the State of South Carolina, represented by Department of Health and Environmental Control and Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Department of Commerce, represented National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The M/V Ever Reach is a 961-foot long container ship owned and operated by Evergreen International, S.A. On September 30, 2002, while the ship was in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, an estimated 12,500 gallons of fuel oil was discharged into the Cooper River and Charleston Harbor area. The spilled oil was concentrated along the western shore of the Cooper River in the vicinity of the North Charleston Terminal.
Altogether, over 30 linear miles of shorelines were oiled including the tidal creeks and backwater areas of James Island, Morris Island, Sullivan’s Island, Fort Johnson, Folly Beach, Shutes Folly and Crab Bank. The spilled oil caused injury to natural resources and natural resource services including a variety of shoreline habitats, sediments, migratory birds, a shellfish bed closure and a disruption to recreational shrimp baiting.
This Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment:
Identifies the restoration objectives for the natural resources or services that were injured or lost;
Identifies and evaluates a reasonable number of restoration alternatives that are consistent with the restoration objectives for the ecological injuries;
Identifies the restoration actions that the Trustees have selected for use to compensate for the ecological injuries that occurred;
Identifies the scale of the restoration project needed to compensate for the injuries and losses that occurred; and,
Describes the monitoring that will be used to determine the success of the project;
Evergreen International has agreed to perform the restoration actions selected in this Restoration Plan as part of a settlement for natural resource damages resulting from the oil spill.