This Week at Interior July 16, 2021


This Week at Interior 

Secretary Haaland took part in a solemn U.S. Army ceremony this week in Pennsylvania, joining representatives of the Rosebud and Oglala Sioux Tribes, to return the children who died at the Carlisle Indian School. That school was among a number of Indian Boarding Schools that attempted to erase Native languages and culture from the American story. The Secretary said she's committed to elevating this tragic history so that we can build a better future for our children.  

Secretary Haaland and National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy toured abandoned mine lands in central Pennsylvania this week. They were highlighting the Biden-Harris Administration's efforts to reclaim those lands, and help communities eliminate dangerous legacy pollution, all while creating good-paying union jobs and advancing environmental justice. Secretary Haaland said hardworking coal communities help power our country, and that Interior is committed to helping working families who face hazardous pollution, toxic water levels, and land subsidence long after coal companies have moved on. 

The U.S. Geological Survey this week announced a new study of COVID-19 to better estimate disease occurrence and trends in populations, and help strengthen current testing approaches. USGS says strategic testing, based on specific objectives, can provide information valuable for decisions about both individual healthcare and protecting communities, and could be done with relatively few additional tests and non-invasive surveys. 

After a six-month closure due to COVID-19, the Washington Monument reopened to the public this week. The Monument will be open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm, and masks are required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Tickets are only available online, at 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management this week announced an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and St. Lucie County in Florida...the agreement gives the Corps of Engineers access to 800,000 cubic yards of federal sand to rebuild and restore coastal resiliency in the area.  

Interior has a new Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. Shannon Estenoz was sworn in this week by Secretary Haaland with her family looking on. Prior to joining the administration, Shannon served as the Chief Operating Officer of The Everglades Foundation. 

The Bureau of Land Management turns 75 years old this week. It was July 16th, 1946 when President Harry Truman merged the General Land Office and the Grazing Service to create BLM, which now proudly manages about 245 million acres of public landscapes for all Americans. 

And our birthday Bureau also manages the site of our social media Picture of the Week: Oregon's Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. Part of BLM's National Conservation Lands, the 95-acre site is home to this iconic lighthouse, and provides hundreds of thousands of annual visitors a place for hiking, bird and whale watching. 

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That’s This Week, at Interior.   


This Week: Secretary Haaland takes part in a solemn ceremony to return the Native children who died at the Carlisle Indian School; the Secretary and National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy tour abandoned mine lands in central Pennsylvania, highlighting the Administration's effort to fight pollution, create jobs, and advance environmental justice; USGS announces a new COVID-19 study aimed at improving current testing approaches; the Washington Monument reopens to visitors after a pause for the pandemic; BOEM and its partners get ready to rebuild some Florida beaches; Interior has a new Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks; it's happy 75th birthday to BLM; and we spotlight an iconic lighthouse in our social media Picture of the Week!