Hi I’m Scott Tucker, Superintendent of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and you’re watching “This Week at Interior.”
This Week at Interior
Secretary Haaland traveled to New Mexico this week to highlight how investments from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will address legacy pollution, invest in new clean energy projects, and lower energy costs for working families. Joined by administration leaders including National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, the Secretary announced that Interior has awarded an initial $560 million to 24 states to begin work to plug, cap and reclaim orphaned oil and gas wells and address legacy pollution.
In California, the Secretary joined Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton to announce the allocation of more than $309 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the planning, design and construction of water reuse projects across the country. The announcement capped a two-day swing through central and southern California to highlight how investments from the law will help address the worsening drought crisis, and expand access to clean drinking water for families, farmers and wildlife.
Interior has announced urgent action to improve and protect the long-term sustainability of the Colorado River System. That includes the Bureau of Reclamation’s determination for the annual operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead in 2023 in light of critically low reservoir conditions. The move comes amid the worsening drought crisis that continues to impact communities across the West. The Biden-Harris administration is making unprecedented investments in drought resilience and water management, including a historic $8.3 billion investment through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and a new $4 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act.
Leadership from Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week announced a nearly $15.8 million investment in the Delaware River watershed to improve wildlife habitat, enhance resilience to climate change, and engage underserved communities in conservation. Funding for 45 grants will be provided by the Service in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. This includes $4.7 million from the Infrastructure Law to support innovative green-infrastructure projects that contribute to the health and economic vitality of communities in the watershed.
Interior this week also announced that historic funding is headed for the Klamath Basin. Nearly $26 million has been allocated for restoration projects, including nearly $16 million for ecosystem restoration and $10 million to expand the Klamath Falls National Fish Hatchery, thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Bureau of Reclamation will also fund 10 grants totaling $2.2 million to improve fish and wildlife habitat, including projects that remove fish passage barriers, enhance instream habitat, conserve water, and reduce fine sediment.
Interior this week announced the next steps for potential offshore wind energy in the Gulf of Maine. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will gauge interest in wind development while it seeks feedback from stakeholders, industry, Tribes and ocean users. The move advances the Biden-Harris administration’s goal to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030.
David Applegate was sworn in this week as Director of the U.S. Geological Survey by Secretary Haaland. David has been serving as USGS’s Associate Director for Natural Hazards, exercising the delegated authority of the Director since January 20, 2021. In accepting his position, David said: “Now more than ever — as changes in the natural world, along with growing human demands, put health and safety, national security and economies at risk — science from USGS will play an indispensable role in the well-being of our nation and planet Earth.”
And our social media Picture of the Week, Idaho's Big Southern Butte, managed by the Bureau of Land Management. It's one of the largest volcanic domes in the world but, at 300,000 years old, it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot-high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views.
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That's This Week at Interior.
This Week: Secretary Haaland travels to New Mexico to talk clean energy and legacy pollution; more than $309 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help plan, design and build water reuse projects across the country; Interior announces urgent action to improve and protect the long-term sustainability of the Colorado River system; investments in both the Delaware River watershed and the Klamath Basin will improve fish and wildlife habitat, enhance resilience to climate change and promote conservation; Interior announces next steps for potential offshore wind energy in the Gulf of Maine; David Applegate is sworn-in as the new director of the U.S. Geological Survey; and we'll take you to Idaho for our social media Picture of the Week!