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.
Justice Opens 30-Day Public Comment Period on Proposed Settlement for Natural Resource Damages from 2011 Suncor Energy oil spill, Adams County, Colorado
Last edited 4/20/2016
On November 21, 2013, U.S. Department of Justice opened a 30-day public comment period on a proposed settlement for natural resource damages arising from a November 2011 release of oil from the Suncor Energy, Inc. facility in Commerce City, Adams County, Colorado. The proposed settlement is embodied in a Consent Decree that was lodged with the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on November 15, 2013.
The natural resource trustees in this case include:
State of Colorado, represented by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Department of Natural Resources and Colorado Attorney General; and,
U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service;
The oil spill was reported November 27, 2011 by a citizen who observed an oily sheen on the water and shoreline near the confluence of Sand Creek and South Platte River in Commerce City, north central Colorado. The oil released to Sand Creek and South Platte River was part of a plume of groundwater contamination originating at the Suncor Refinery property. The spill caused injury to natural resources, including: aquatic and riparian habitat near the down gradient of the point of discharge to Sand Creek; wetland habitat located on the defendant’s property; waterfowl associated with the former wetland on the defendant’s property; and, groundwater.
Under the proposed settlement in the lodged Consent Decree, Suncor Energy, Inc., will:
Pay $568,268 to DOI to manage future natural resource restoration activities; and,
Pay $1,195,732 to State of Colorado which will be managed as follows, $912,481 to the Natural Resource Damage Recovery Fund; $166,418 to the Hazardous Substance Response Fund to reimburse previously incurred costs; and, $116,833 for oversight and monitoring.
The total monetary value of the proposed settlement is $1,887,000. This includes $123,000 Suncor paid August 2, 2013 as partial payment for past natural resource damage assessment costs incurred by DOI.
Written comments on the proposed Consent Decree must be received by U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division by Monday, December 23, 2013.