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 Launch Cooperative International Project to Restore Natural Resources Injured at Superfund Site in Ashland, Massachusetts
Last edited 4/20/2016
On February 28, 2013, the federal and State natural resource trustees together with cooperating partners launched an international, natural resource restoration project intended to restore natural resources and natural resource services injured by hazardous substances releases at the Nyanza Chemical Waste Dump NPL site in Ashland, Middlesex County, in the MetroWest area of eastern Massachusetts.
The natural resource trustees in this case include:
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, represented by Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection;
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 Nyanza Chemical Waste Dump is a 35-acre site located adjacent to an active industrial complex. Historical industrial operations at the site released large volumes of wastewater contaminated with acids, organic chemicals and inorganic chemicals. Over 45,000 tons of chemical sludges, together with spent solvents and other chemical wastes, were buried on the site. Some of these wastes were discharged to the Sudbury River. As a result, groundwater, soils, sediments and surface waters are contaminated with heavy metals and chlorinated organic compounds. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency placed the Nyanza Chemical Waste Dump on the National Priorities List in 1983.
Hazardous substances releases from the site injured natural resources and natural resource services. In 1998, the trustees settled natural resource damage claims for more than $3 million: $2.8 million for restoration projects and $230,769 to the Commonwealth for groundwater injuries. Interest earned on these settlement funds since then increased the total amount of funding for restoration activities to almost $3.7 million. The trustees released a publicly-reviewed Restoration Plan in September, 2012, identifying projects intended to restore injured natural resources and natural resource services.
Using $50,000 of these settlement funds, the trustees have launched a cooperative, natural resource restoration project in Central America. In a partnership with Belize Foundation for Research & Environmental Education and local farmers, the trustees are undertaking a reforestation project in the community of Trio in the northern part of Toledo District in southern Belize.
The project, described in Section 4 of the Restoration Plan, is intended to benefit migratory neotropical songbirds -- such as warblers, flycatchers and thrushes -- injured by the hazardous substances releases by preserving and enhancing overwintering habitat. Three farmers in the community have signed up so far to participate in the reforestation project.