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.
Restoration, as defined in the NRDA Restoration statutes and regulations, encompasses activities to restore, replace, or acquire the equivalent of the injured natural resources. Due to the breadth of this definition and the variety of natural resources managed by Department of the Interior bureaus and co-trustees, restoration can take many forms. Successful restoration of injured resources relies on the dedicated effort of NRDA Restoration practitioners within the Program and many partner organizations. Examples of restoration projects implemented throughout the country include: the addition of habitat to Fish and Wildlife Service Refuges, National Parks, state parks and tribal lands; invasive species control; fish passage in streams and rivers; construction of bird nesting islands; wetland, saltmarsh, and eel grass bed restoration; and endangered mussel reintroductions. A few examples of successful restorations are highlighted below.