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 Greens Bayou Site, Harris County, Texas
Last edited 4/20/2016
On April 3, 2013, the federal and State natural resource trustees settled natural resource damage claims with three parties arising from hazardous substances releases at the Greens Bayou Site in Harris County in southeastern Texas. Settling parties include: GB Biosciences Corp., ISK Magnetics, Inc. and Occidental Chemical Corp. The settlement is embodied in a Consent Decree that was entered by the U.S. District Court for the Southern Division of Texas, Houston Division.
The natural resource trustees involved in this case include:
State of Texas, represented by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department;
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 Greens Bayou Site is a 217-acre industrial area bisected by Hayden Road in the City of Houston. Surface water drainage from the site flows to the Harris County Flood Control District ditch, a partially-lined culvert as it passes through the site, which then drains to Greens Bayou. Historical operations at the site released hazardous substances, including DDT compounds. The trustees, in cooperation with the settling parties, determined that these hazardous substances releases injured benthic sediment habitat and organisms, aquatic habitats and organisms, terrestrial wildlife and habitat for State- and federally-protected species, including migratory birds.
Under the proposed settlement in the lodged Consent Decree, the settling parties, jointly and severally, will:
Implement intertidal wetlands restoration on at least 10.89 acres within the Baytown Nature Center in Baytown, Harris County, Texas;
Preserve 100.17 acres of riparian and bottomland hardwood habitat adjacent to Spring Creek in Montgomery County, Texas, through the execution of a Conservation Easement;
Reimburse the trustees’ past assessment costs, including $3,597.73 to DOI, $27,461.51 to NOAA and $13,012.95 to State of Texas; and,
Reimburse the trustees’ future administrative costs.
A final, publicly-reviewed “Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan” detailing the specific actions to be implemented to restore the injured natural resources and natural resource services, is incorporated in the Consent Decree as Appendix A.