the coast nation

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Spent the weekend roaming the redwoods, lush with green from El Niño’s rain.

Redwood National Park, CA. March 2016. (Instagram)

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Snowy spring coastline, Maine’s Acadia National Park.

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.
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Oceans are vital to wildlife and our planet. Containing 99 percent of the living space on earth, oceans are vast habitats for an impressive array of life. To celebrate World Ocean Day, we’re sharing this remarkable picture of bioluminescent plankton near Haystack Rock at Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge. From moments like this to surfing, sailing, fishing and diving, oceans are essential to our lives, economy and natural understanding. Photo courtesy of Jeff Berkes.

America’s national parks include some of the most cherished natural landscapes and cultural sites in the world. Today is World Heritage Day and we’re recognizing a unique park with a global profile. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is one of the few places on Earth where visitors can safely get an upclose look at an active volcano. Witness powerful natural forces at work as Kīlauea and Mauna Loa (two of the world’s most active volcanoes) continue to add land to the island of Hawaiʻi. Photo by Janice Wei, National Park Service.

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“Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It’s a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others.”  -Ronald Reagan  

Let us not forget what this day is really about.    

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge encompasses some of Alabama’s last remaining undisturbed coastal barrier habitat. The name Bon Secour is French for “safe harbor,” very appropriate considering the sanctuary it provides for native flora and fauna. This refuge is a natural oasis of wildlands, where wildlife can exist without harm. It may be too cold to go in the water, but even in winter, a walk on the beach can be a beautiful experience. Photo by Stephanie Pluscht, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Within sight of downtown Miami, Biscayne National Park in Florida protects a rare combination of aquamarine waters, emerald islands and fish-bejeweled coral reefs. There’s also evidence of 10,000 years of human history, from pirates and shipwrecks to pineapple farmers and presidents. Outdoors enthusiasts can boat, fish, snorkel, camp, watch wildlife or simply enjoy a gorgeous sunrise over the ocean. Photo courtesy of Andrew R. Slaton.

Well excuse me, I’m swimming here! 

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary visitor Patrick Smith spotted this sea lion swimming through the kelp forest off Santa Barbara Island with an attitude. These playful, acrobatic swimmers are often spotted in the Channel Islands and in other West Coast national marine sanctuaries. 

(Photo: Patrick Smith)