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 Release Final Restoration Plan for Piping Plovers Injured by April 2003 Oil Spill in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts and Rhode Island
Last edited 4/20/2016
On January 10, 2013, the State and federal natural resource trustees released the publicly-reviewed “Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) Impacted by the Bouchard Barge 120 Oil Spill, Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.” This Final Restoration Plan describes specific actions to restore piping plovers injured by the April 27, 2003 fuel oil spill from the Bouchard barge 120 into Buzzards Bay and nearby coastal shorelines in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The natural resource trustees in this case include:
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, represented by Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection;
State of Rhode Island, represented by Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management;
U.S. Department of Commerce, represented by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and,
U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by Bureau of Indian Affairs and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head separately settled tribal damage claims arising from the Bouchard barge 120 oil spill.
Bouchard barge 120, while being towed by a tugboat, grounded on a shoal near the western approach to Buzzards Bay on April 27, 2003. The grounding ripped a 12-foot long gash in the barge’s hull and an estimated 98,000 gallons of No. 6 fuel oil was released into the Bay. This spilled oil eventually fouled nearly 100 miles of coastline in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including habitat for piping plover, a State and federal threatened shorebird species. The oil spill killed an estimated 12 adult piping plovers and 5 chicks.
The State and federal natural resource trustees settled natural resource damage claims with Bouchard Transportation Co. and the tugboat owner in a Consent Decree in May 2011. This settlement provided over $6 million for natural resource restoration projects, including $715,000 specifically for piping plover restoration.
This Final Restoration Plan is the first of three Restoration Plans being prepared by the trustees to address natural resource injuries from this oil spill.