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 into St. Lawrence Environment, St. Lawrence County, New York
Last edited 4/20/2016
On July 17, 2013, the federal, State and Tribal natural resource trustees settled natural resource damage claims with two parties arising from hazardous substances releases into St. Lawrence River watershed, near Massena, St. Lawrence County, in northern New York. The settling parties are Alcoa, Inc. and Reynolds Metals Company. The settlement is embodied in a Consent Decree that was entered by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.
The natural resource trustees involved in this case include:
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe;
State of New York, represented by New York Department of Environmental Conservation;
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.
Pollution from former, large industrial manufacturing facilities in Massena, New York, has contaminated soils, sediments, groundwater and surface waters in the St. Lawrence Environment. The 2,700-acre Alcoa West aluminum products manufacturing facility released hazardous substances, including PCBs, onto the facility property and into Grasse River. The 1,600-acre Reynolds Metals aluminum ore refining facility, now operated by Alcoa, discharged various types of hazardous wastes, including PAHs, into St. Lawrence River.
The trustees determined that the hazardous substances released by these industrial operations injured natural resources, including sediment, fish, birds, amphibians and mammals. Natural resource services -- including recreational fishing and Tribal cultural uses -- were also injured.
Cleanup of this contamination is being undertaken pursuant to a Unilateral Administrative Order issued by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This UAO requires Alcoa to investigate the contamination and implement remedial actions.
Under this settlement for natural resource damages in the entered Consent Decree, the settling parties will:
Pay $933,950 for trustees’ past assessment costs, including $638,644.25 for DOI past costs;
Pay $7,279,883 for natural resource restoration projects;
Pay $8,387,898 for Tribal cultural restoration projects;
Acquire and transfer title to the State two parcels of land: the Coles Creek parcel and Wilson Hill parcel; and,