This Week at Interior June 9, 2023


Hi, I'm Eric. And I'm Shauna. And you're at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and Wetland Management District. And you're watching This Week at Interior.

This Week at Interior 

Secretary Haaland and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland traveled to Minnesota this week for a series of events and meetings with Tribes and Tribal communities. They hosted the seventh stop on “The Road to Healing” -- that's a year-long tour across the country to provide Native survivors of the federal Indian boarding school system and their descendants an opportunity to share their experiences. They also took part in a public hearing convened by the Not Invisible Act Commission. That's part of a joint effort by the Departments of the Interior and Justice to develop recommendations to guide Congress and federal agencies to combat the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous peoples and human trafficking. 

Interior this week announced a nearly $64 million investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to clean up more than 300 orphaned oil and gas well sites in national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and on other public lands and waters. Methane emissions from many of these unplugged wells presents a serious safety hazard, and contributes to climate change. The move is part of a historic $16 billion through the President’s Investing in America agenda to address legacy pollution across the nation that will create good-paying union jobs, catalyze economic growth and revitalization. 

The 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season has arrived, and through November the U.S. Geological Survey will provide science to help protect lives and property if a storm threatens American shores. USGS has a range of comprehensive scientific capabilities that can inform decision-makers, emergency managers and communities as they prepare for, respond to and recover from a storm. That includes forecasting coastal change, tracking storm surge and coastal flooding, and measuring river levels and inland flooding across entire regions.  

June is National Ocean Month and this week marks World Ocean Day, celebrating the precious resource that touches every aspect of our lives. The ocean helps sustain livelihoods, influences our climate and weather patterns, and serves as a place for exploration and recreation. Interior is working hard to conserve the ocean by ensuring everyone has access to our nation’s coastal and marine environments, investing in a clean energy future, reducing plastic pollution on Interior-managed lands, and setting a goal of conserving 30% of our lands and waters by 2030 through the America the Beautiful initiative. 

Interior hosted the next generation of public servants this week at the Office of Personnel Management's Intern Experience Program Launch. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Management and Budget Joan Mooney spoke at the event, which also featured astronauts from NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, who have all just returned from their recent mission to the International Space Station. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week announced that more than $24 million in funding has been approved for conservation projects to benefit migratory birds throughout the Americas, under the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act. There are 390 species of birds that migrate across the western hemisphere to and from the U.S. each year, including songbirds, shorebirds and birds of prey. 

The National Park Service joined the U.S. Mint this week to celebrate the release of the new Eleanor Roosevelt quarter. The new coin honors the nation's longest-serving First Lady, who was also a delegate to the United Nations, diplomat and human rights activist. 

Are you ready to get outdoors? Saturday June 10th is National Get Outdoors Day. It's an annual event intended to inspire and motivate Americans to get outside for a healthy, fun day of outdoor adventure. We'll be celebrating America's wild spaces for the rest of June, as we mark Great Outdoors Month. 

And our social media Picture of the Week, the towering, crimson-colored rock formations of Utah's Bryce Canyon National Park. It was one hundred years ago this week that Bryce Canyon was first preserved as a national monument, before its designation as a national park five years later. 

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That's This Week at Interior 

This Week: Interior leaders travel to Minnesota on "The Road to Healing"; Interior announces nearly $64 million to clean up more than 300 orphaned oil and gas well sites; the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season arrives, and USGS stands ready if a storm threatens American shores; this week marks World Ocean Day, and we're celebrating the precious resource that touches every aspect of our lives; Interior hosts the next generation of public servants at OPM's Intern Experience Program Launch; USFWS announces more than $24 million in funding for conservation projects to benefit migratory birds; NPS joins the U.S. Mint to celebrate the release of the new Eleanor Roosevelt quarter; Saturday, June 10 is National Get Outdoors Day; and we're heading to the Utah wilderness for our social media Picture of the Week!