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.
FWS Opens 30-Day Public Comment Period on Draft Restoration Plan for Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits NPL Site, Jacksonville, Florida
Last edited 4/26/2016
McGirts Creek in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, shown here in late summer 2004, has been contaminated by hazardous substances releases from the Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits NPL site. Photo credit: EPA.
On June 11, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opened a 30-day public comment period on the “Draft Restoration Plan for McGirts Creek Park for Restoration of Injuries Associated with Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits Superfund Site, Jacksonville, FL.” The Draft Restoration Plan proposes natural resource restoration actions intended to restore natural resources injured by hazardous substances releases at the Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits NPL site in Jacksonville, Florida. The only natural resource trustee participating in this case is the U.S. Department of the Interior represented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits NPL site is a 7-acre, upland area adjacent to a cypress swamp located about 10 miles west of downtown Jacksonville, Duval County, in northeastern Florida. Allied Petro-Products, Inc. disposed of acidic waste oil sludges in seven unlined pits at the site between 1958 and 1968. In 1976, the dike system around two of the pits failed and released more than 200,000 gallons of waste into the wetlands along McGirts Creek. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency placed the site on the National Priorities List in 1983.
Approximately 14 acres of wetlands were lost or injured by the hazardous substances releases and subsequent remedial actions at the site. In August 2001, a settlement for natural resource damages with certain responsible parties provided $77,000 to be used by FWS for assessment costs, restoration oversight and restoration activities.
This Draft Restoration Plan presents the natural resource restoration alternatives considered by FWS and the proposed restoration action to restore injured natural resources. The proposed action would restore or enhance 50 acres of wetlands along McGirts Creek within McGirts Creek Park in cooperation with the City of Jacksonville. The City of Jacksonville owns, manages and protects McGirts Creek Park as a nature preserve.
Written comments on the Draft Restoration Plan must be received by FWS’s North Florida Ecological Services Office by Tuesday, July 10, 2012.