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.
Program administration provides the strategic vision, direction, management, and coordination of inter-Departmental activities necessary for the Department of Interior (DOI) to carry out the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDA Restoration) Program. In short, it manages the intersection of complex interdisciplinary relationships among biology, environmental toxicology, natural resource management, economics, and law. Administrative activities allocate damage assessment project funding; monitor program performance and ensure accountability; provide the framework for identifying and resolving issues that raise significant management or policy implications; develop the DOI's policies and regulations for conducting and managing damage assessment and restoration cases; respond to DOI, Office of Management and Budget, and Congressional inquiries; and ensure coordination among federal, state, and tribal governments.
Director Office of Restoration and Damage Assessment (ORDA)
Provides leadership and management for the NRDA Restoration Program and serves as the DOI's principal contact for NRDA Restoration policy and program issues. The Director seeks advice and approval of the Executive Board on program management and policy issues. The Director directly supervises the Deputy Director, the Assistant Director, and the Restoration Fund Manager.
Assists the Director in all aspects of NRDA Restoration Program management. The Deputy Director supervises the Restoration Support Unit and serves as Acting Director in the absence of the Director.
Supervises the Program Management Specialists who comprise the Operations Unit and oversees and directs the activities of the Work Group. The focus of the Assistant Director is on damage assessment activities and general program management support.
Restoration Fund Manager
Serves as the DOI's principal budget and financial contact for the NRDA Restoration Program. The Fund Manager is responsible for the collection, investment, and disbursement of funds received by the DOI and its co-trustees in compensation for injuries to natural resources. The Fund Manager prepares and implements the NRDA Restoration Program budget and annual performance plan in conjunction with various relevant bureau and office program coordinators and advises the Director on all NRDA Restoration Program budget and finance matters.
Restoration Support Unit
Provides engineering and ecological/biological support to the DOI's case managers/teams, as well as assistance with meeting various legal and regulatory compliance requirements, identifying possible partnering opportunities, and drafting appropriate documents. The Restoration Support Unit is located in Denver, CO.
Provides programmatic support to the ORDA and Work Group, primarily in support of damage assessment and pre-assessment activities, such as the designation of Authorized Officials and allocation of damage assessment funding. The Operations Unit leads information technology activities (external website, SharePoint, database development) for the Office and Work Group.
Restoration Executive Board
Oversees policy direction and approves allocations of funds. It includes representatives at the senior executive level from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service; an Associate Solicitor; and the Director of the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance.
Provides the primary staff support to the Director – Office of Restoration and Damage Assessment in accomplishing Departmental NRDA Restoration Program goals. The Work Group is comprised of senior staff level representatives from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service.
The Office of the Solicitor provides legal support to the Work Group and represents the interests of the DOI on all matters of law regarding the Department's NRDA Restoration responsibilities. The U.S. Geological Survey provides scientific support to the Work Group and case teams nationwide. The Office of Policy Analysis provides economic analysis and support to the Work Group and case teams nationwide.