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.
Justice Opens 30-Day Public Comment Period on Proposed Settlement for Natural Resource Damages for 2010 Diesel Spill at Adak Island, Alaska
Last edited 4/20/2016
On July 10, 2013, U.S. Department of Justice opened a 30-day public comment period on a proposed settlement for natural resource damages with Adak Petroleum, LLC arising from a January 2010 release of diesel fuel from the Adak Petroleum Bulk Fuel facility on Adak Island in the central Aleutian Islands, Alaska. The proposed settlement is embodied in a Consent Decree that was lodged with the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska on July 10, 2013.
The natural resource trustees in this case include:
State of Alaska, represented by Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska Department of Natural Resources and Alaska Department of Law;
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 oil spill happened on January 11, 2010 at the Adak Petroleum Bulk Fuel facility at the Port of Adak on Adak Island, 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. An estimated 143,000 gallons of diesel fuel was spilled when an underground storage tank at Helmet Creek Tank Farm was overfilled during a fuel transfer operation from the tanker Al-Amerat, moored nearby at a loading dock. The spilled diesel entered Helmet Creek, traveling the lower 2 km of the Creek to Adak Small Boat Harbor and eventually Sweeper Cove, fouling riparian habitat, wetlands, marine habitat and shorelines. Natural resources -- including anadromous fish, marine shellfish, migratory birds and their habitats -- were injured by the spilled diesel.
Under the proposed settlement in the lodged Consent Decree, Adak Petroleum, LLC, will:
Implement the cooperatively-developed Helmet Creek Restoration and Monitoring Work Plan designed to restore natural resources and natural resource services injured by the spill by: removing trash racks from Helmet Creek, clearing floodplain debris, restoring Creek grade to allow for anadromous fish passage and re-vegetating Creek banks for stability;
Pay federal trustees' past assessment costs totaling $272,875.91, including $8,164.32 for DOI's past costs;
Pay State trustees' past assessment costs totaling $4,151.17 and,
Pay the trustees' future oversight costs.
Written comments on the proposed Consent Decree must be received by U.S. Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division by Friday, August 9, 2013.