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 Settle Natural Resource Damage Claims Arising from Hazardous Substances Releases at Malone Service Co. NPL Site, Galveston County, Texas
Last edited 4/26/2016
This aerial view of the 150-acre Malone Service Company NPL site in Texas City, Galveston County, Texas, shows the proximity of sensitive wetlands and Galveston Bay. Hazardous substances released from the site have been found in groundwater and Galveston Bay. Photo credit: EPA.
On September 24, 2012, the U.S., on behalf of Department of Commerce and Department of the Interior, and the State of Texas settled claims, including natural resource damage claims, with multiple companies for natural resource damages arising from hazardous substances releases from the Malone Service Co. NPL site in Texas City, Galveston County, in southeastern Texas. This settlement is embodied in a Consent Decree that was entered with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Galveston Division. Counterclaims by the State of Texas against the U.S. are also settled in this Consent Decree.
The natural resource trustees in this case include:
State of Texas, represented by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas General Land Office;
U.S. Department of Commerce, represented by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and,
U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Malone Service Co. site is a former, 150-acre disposal facility for waste oil and chemicals along the Galveston Bay shoreline in Texas City. Between 1964 and 1996, more than 480 million gallons of wastes were sent to the site from hundreds of businesses, including federal agencies. Hazardous substances released from the site -- including chlorinated solvent, phenols, PAHs, chromium and lead -- have contaminated groundwater and migrated to Galveston Bay. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency placed the site on the National Priorities List in 2001.
The natural resource trustees have determined that natural resources and natural resource services associated with upland-woodlands habitat, freshwater marsh habitat and saltwater marsh habitat around the site were injured by these hazardous substances releases.
Under the settlement for natural resource damages in the entered Consent Decree, the settling parties will pay $3,109,000 for past assessment costs, future assessment costs and restoration costs. Of this total amount, $27,327 will be paid to DOI for past natural resource damage assessment costs. Specific natural resource restoration projects to be implemented with this settlement will be selected jointly by the trustees in the future and described in a Restoration Plan with the opportunity for public input.