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 Former Pesticide Manufacturer in Brazos County, Texas
Last edited 4/20/2016
On August 27, 2013, the federal and State natural resource trustees settled natural resource damage claims with Arkema, Inc. arising from hazardous substances releases from its former pesticide and agricultural chemicals manufacturing and formulation facility in Bryan, Brazos County, Texas. The settlement is embodied in Consent Decree that was entered by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.
The natural resource trustees involved in this case include:
State of Texas, represented by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas General Land Office; and,
U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Until 1994, Arkema and its predecessors manufactured and formulated agricultural pesticides at its Dodge Street facility on the shoreline of Finfeather Lake in Bryan, Texas. Hazardous substances -- including arsenic, metals, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides -- were disposed and released at the facility. These hazardous substances contaminated groundwater, sediments and nearby surface waters in Finfeather Lake and Bryan Municipal Lake. Natural resources -- including groundwater, migratory birds, turtles, amphibians, fish, crayfish and macro-invertebrates -- and natural resources services were injured by these releases.
Under this settlement for natural resource damages in the entered Consent Decree, Arkema, Inc. will:
Pay $1,116,946.62 for natural resource restoration activities;
Pay $123,883.88 to State of Texas for past assessment costs; and,
Pay $159,169.50 to DOI for past assessment costs.
The total monetary value of the settlement is $1.4 million.
As the next step, the trustees will prepare a Restoration Plan proposing natural resource restoration options for restoring the injured natural resources. This Restoration Plan will be made available for public review and comment.