This Week at Interior May 21, 2021


This Week, at Interior  

Animals, plants, insects, and all living things are part of the balance of nature that our world relies on, but today there are species at risk of being lost forever.

Protecting plants and wildlife for the present, and for the future... on Endangered Species Day Secretary Haaland encouraged everyone to think about the role they can play in saving animal and plant species from endangerment, and extinction.  

Whether we think about it regularly or not, plants and wildlife make all our lives better. And they need our active protection. At Interior we’re bringing partners together to recover plants, fish, wildlife and their habitats before they need protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Secretary Haaland made more history this week...the first Native American Cabinet Secretary became the first *Interior* Secretary to appear on NBC's "Late Night with Seth Meyers." In a wide-ranging discussion the Secretary talked about Interior's mission of conservation, land and resource stewardship, and improving Interior's role in managing climate change. And this  being Late Night, she endured a little good-natured roasting about some of Interior's social media posts.    

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Energy Department have joined with Texas A&M’s Engineering Experiment Station to support the ongoing operation and maintenance of the Ocean Energy Safety Institute. The Biden-Harris administration has committed to improving the safety and environmental sustainability of offshore energy development. The OESI will support critical improvements for all offshore energy activities, including renewable and traditional energy. 

The National Park Service this week announced the disbursement of more than $3.1 million in grants to support 22 education, preservation, and restoration projects that help tell the full story of an American tragedy, the confinement of more than 120 thousand Japanese Americans during World War II. Entire families were displaced and held in captivity under the mistaken suspicion they were more loyal to Japan during the war, than they were to the United States. The damage done by these harmful actions is still felt in communities today. 

This is National Invasive Species Awareness week, but *every* week is awareness week for Reclamation’s mussel-sniffing dogs. They sniff out quagga and zebra mussels on boats as well as shorelines, and the new pooch on patrol is Puddles. She came from a shelter before getting her training. So far this year Puddles has inspected more than 350 watercraft. 

The Fish and Wildlife Service this week announced more than 27-million dollars in grants to benefit migratory birds under the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act. Nearly five million in federal dollars will be matched by more than twenty-two million dollars in partner funds...together they’ll pay for thirty collaborative conservation projects in twenty-three countries across the Americas.  

And a favorite layover for neotropical birds flying south is our social media Picture of the Week...where a great blue heron stands along the shoreline at sunset at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama. Established by Congress in 1980, Bon Secour comes from the French words meaning “safe harbor”...and it’s here that migratory birds rest and build up their fat reserves for the rest of the journey. 

Make sure you follow our journey on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and You Tube. 

That’s This Week, at Interior 

This Week: Secretary Haaland observes Endangered Species Day with a call to protect plants and wildlife before they become endangered; the Secretary makes an historic appearance on "Late Night with Seth Meyers"; the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is part of a renewed push to improve the safety and environmental sustainability of offshore energy development; new grants from the National Park Service will help tell the story of the tragic confinement of Japanese Americans during World War II; the Bureau of Reclamation has a new, four-legged detective on the case of invasive mussels; more grants from the Fish and Wildlife Service to protect neotropical migratory birds; and a great blue heron stands tall in our social media Picture of the Week!