This Week, at Interior
We are stronger today than we were a year ago. And we will be stronger a year from now than we are today. This is our moment, to meet and overcome the challenges of our time, and we will.
In his first State of the Union Address, President Biden this week outlined the many challenges gripping the Nation: including the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the economic effects of a COVID-19 pandemic entering its third year. He outlined how the American Rescue Plan has already created millions of new jobs, and how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will create even more, while modernizing roads, airports, ports, and waterways, improving access to clean water and providing high-speed internet for every urban, suburban, rural, and Tribal community.
This was also Secretary Haaland's first State of the Union address as a member of the cabinet, and just before entering the House chamber, she snapped this photo, reflecting the unprecedented diversity of the Biden-Harris Cabinet. Secretary Haaland is the first Native American Cabinet Secretary in American history.
On the heels of the State of the Union, the Secretary traveled to Connecticut, where she highlighted Interior's commitment to implement investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in Tribal communities, as well as for ecosystem restoration and resilience efforts. The visit helped underscore the Law’s $13 billion investment in Indian Country, which includes nearly a half billion dollars for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management this week announced the record-breaking results of the nation’s highest-grossing competitive offshore lease sale in history. The wind energy sale drew competitive winning bids from six companies totaling approximately $4.37 billion for lease areas of nearly half a million acres in the New York Bight. It's a major milestone towards achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of reaching 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.
Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland completed a four-day tour of New Mexico and Arizona this week. He joined Bureau of Land Management leadership to meet with Tribal leaders and members of the public to talk about efforts to protect the Chaco Canyon landscape. His visit also included Tribal meetings to discuss the challenges of climate change, the western water crisis, and infrastructure degradation in Indian Country.
A new report from the U.S. Geological Survey this week predicts sea levels along U.S. coastlines could rise as much as a foot over the next 30 years. The U.S. Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flood Hazard Scenarios and Tools Interagency Task Force updated its sea level rise projections out to the year 2150 as global temperatures increase. Tens of millions of Americans currently live in areas at risk of coastal flooding.
The National Park Service this week announced its prediction for the return of Washington D.C.'s world-famous cherry blossoms: sometime between March 22nd and March 25th. The National Cherry Blossom Festival typically attracts a million and a half visitors to the Nation's Capital each year, but many events were cut back or cancelled altogether in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
This week we mark not one, not two, but THREE anniversaries. The U.S. Geological Survey marks 143 years of service this year. Founded on March 3rd, 1879, USGS studies the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it.
Yellowstone National Park turned 150 years old this week. The 35-hundred square mile wilderness recreation area in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming is a volcanic hotspot with unique hydrothermal and geologic features...it’s home to dramatic canyons, rivers, forests, and hundreds of animal species. Established on March 1st, 1872, Yellowstone was the world's first national park.
And on March 3rd, 1849, Congress established the United States Department of the Interior. For 173 years Interior has stewarded America's vast public lands and resources, managed its trust and treaty responsibilities with Tribal Nations, and told America's story for past, present, and future generations. Here’s to many years to come!
And our social media Picture of the Week, this spectacular shot of Assateague Island National Seashore which straddles Maryland and Virginia. It's the largest natural barrier island ecosystem in the Middle Atlantic that remains mostly untouched by human development. Visitors can enjoy the beach, camping, fishing, and nature trails.
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That’s This Week, at Interior.
This Week: President Biden outlines the challenges and opportunities facing the nation in his first State of the Union Address; Secretary Haaland shares a photo at the State of the Union that captures the diversity of the President's Cabinet; the Secretary travels to Connecticut to highlight the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law's investment in Tribal communities; the nation’s highest-grossing competitive offshore lease sale makes history in the New York Bight; Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland completes a four-day visit to New Mexico and Arizona; a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey predicts sea levels along U.S. coastlines could rise as much as a foot over the next 30 years; the National Park Service announces its prediction for the return of Washington D.C.'s world-famous cherry blossoms; this week we mark not one, not two but three notable anniversaries; and we take you to Assateague Island for our social media Picture of the Week!