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Almanac - Friday, August 12, 2005

National Park News

Today in NPS History On August 12, 1940, the War Department transferred Fort Washington, built in the early 19th century to defend Washington from naval attack, to the National Park Service.  Fort Washington Park, Maryland, across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon, includes the masonry fort and recreational facilities.
In Memoriam On August 12, 1995, Mount Rainier NP seasonal climbing ranger Sean Ryan and and SCA/VIP Philip Otis were killed in a climbing fall. This Day in the Lewis and Clark Expedition August 12, 1805 - From Lewis' journal: "McNeal…exultingly stood with a foot on each side of this little rivulet and thanked his god that he had lived to bestride the mighty & heretofore deemed endless Missouri…proceeded on to the top of the dividing ridge from which I discovered immence ranges of high mountains…West of us…tops partially covered with snow…" This Day in the Morning Report This story from Padre Island NS appeared in the Morning Report on this date in 1993…. Over the past 16 months, the park's resource management division has systematically developed information regarding illegal trash dumping in the Gulf of Mexico - a serious problem for Padre Island, which averages a ton of such debris per mile of beach each year.  Based on this information, representatives from the park, Coast Guard, FBI, U.S. Attorney's Office and Texas General Land Office initiated a joint, week-long undercover and surveillance operation to determine the source of and further document illegal dumping.  More than 30 people from the involved agencies worked in shifts to monitor shrimp boats offshore for a distance of nearly 100 miles up and down the coast.  The team employed aircraft, highly sophisticated day and night infrared video equipment, and additional specialized night heat imagery equipment.  According to the Coast Guard, the effort was the first of its kind, or, at least, the first such involving both the Coast Guard and FBI.  As a result of the surveillance operation, four cases are being developed by the U.S. Attorney's Office for civil prosecution under MARPOL-V, an international treaty prohibiting the illegal dumping of plastics in the oceans.  Corporate civil fines may reach (and have in other cases) $500,000, and individual criminal penalties can reach $125,000.  Two of the cases may be tried under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.  Other investigations are continuing.  Credits Park history - Park Dates ( Memoriam - Jeff Ohlfs, Joshua Tree NP.Lewis and Clark history - Dick Prestholdt, Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation.Morning Report history - MR archives (


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