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 February 2005 Cargo Ship Grounding Offshore Barbers Point, Oahu, Hawaii
Last edited 4/20/2016
On March 27, 2013, the federal and State natural resource trustees settled natural resource damage claims arising from the February 2, 2005, grounding of the cargo ship M/V Cape Flattery near the entrance to Barbers Point Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. This settlement with two parties -- Cape Flattery Limited and Pacific Basin (HK) Limited -- is embodied in a Consent Decree that was entered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii .
The natural resource trustees in this case include:
State of Hawaii, represented by Hawaii Department of Lands and Natural Resources, Hawaii Department of Health and Hawaii Department of the Attorney General;
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 M/V Cape Flattery is a 555-foot long, foreign-flagged cargo ship. On the early morning of February 2, 2005, the M/V Cape Flattery ran aground on coral reef habitat outside the entrance channel to Barbers Point Harbor on the southwestern coast of the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The ship was carrying approximately 9 metric tons of bulk pelletized cement and 147,000 gallons of fuel oil. Over the next nine days, the ship’s fuel was lightered, the cargo was offloaded and on February 11, the ship was refloated and towed from the reef.
Coral reef habitats and associated resources were physically injured as a result of ship stabilization and response activities. The trustees determined that six marine habitat zones -- including 19.5 acres of coral -- were injured.
Under the settlement in the entered Consent Decree, the settling parties will:
Pay $5,881,180.00 for the design, implementation, permitting, monitoring and oversight of natural resource restoration projects for coral reef habitat and associated resources according to a Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan to be prepared by the natural resource trustees;
Pay $1,524,137.00 to NOAA for past assessment costs;
Pay $56,679.00 to DOI for past assessment costs; and,
Pay $38,004.00 to State of Hawaii for past assessment costs.
The total value of the monetary settlement is $7,500,000.00.
The trustees will next prepare a Draft Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan detailing proposed natural resource restoration actions to be undertaken to restore injured coral reef habitat. This Draft DARP will be made available for public comment.