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 Open 30-Day Public Comment Period on Draft Mink Injury Study Plan for Natural Resource Damage Assessment for Hudson River, New York
Last edited 4/26/2016
The Hudson River at Bakers Falls with General Electric Company’s Hudson Falls Plant, a capacitor manufacturing facility and a primary source of PCBs contamination in the River, in the background. A 200-mile stretch of the Hudson River has been designated a NPL site by the Environmental Protection Agency. Photo credit: EPA.
On March 19, 2012 the federal and State natural resource trustees opened a 30-day public review and comment period on the draft “Study Plan for Mink Injury Determination -- Investigation of Mink Abundance and Density Relative to Polychlorinated Biphenyl Contamination within the Hudson River Drainage.” A Fact Sheet describing the mink injury investigations was concurrently released by the trustees.
The natural resource trustees involved in the Hudson River PCBs case are the State of New York, the Department of Commerce, acting through National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Department of the Interior (DOI), acting through U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), representing the concerned DOI bureaus (FWS and National Park Service).
In 1984, the Environmental Protection Agency placed a 200-mile stretch of the Hudson River in New York -- from Hudson Falls to the Battery in New York City -- on the National Priorities List of contaminated sites due to PCBs contamination. The EPA has estimated that, between the 1940s and 1977, the General Electric Company released up to 1.3 million pounds of PCBs from two capacitor manufacturing plants, one in Hudson Falls and the other in Fort Edward, into the Hudson River.
The PCBs from these releases contaminated surface water, sediments, floodplain soils, groundwater, fish, birds, wildlife and other biota in the Hudson River. In 2002, the trustees finalized a strategy to assess injuries to these natural resources in the publicly-reviewed “Hudson River Natural Resource Damage Assessment Plan.” The Draft Mink Injury Study Plan is being undertaken pursuant to this Assessment Plan.
The objective of the proposed Study is to estimate abundance and density of mink in areas within the Upper Hudson River drainage, where elevated levels of PCBs have been found, and to compare that with estimated mink abundance and density in an uncontaminated, reference river drainage, in this case, the Mohawk River. No mink will be killed, trapped or adversely affected in the Study. After the Study is completed, the results will be peer reviewed and then publicly released.
The deadline for submitting written comments on the Draft Mink Injury Study Plan is Wednesday, April 18, 2012. Comments received during the open public comment period and the trustees’ responses to these comments will be included in a Responsiveness Summary to be released in the future.