Bainbridge Island Advocate Receives National Parks Award

Date:   February 4, 2009
Contact:   Sean Smith, NPCA, 206-903-1444 x21

Bainbridge Island Advocate Receives National Parks Award

National Parks Conservation Association lauds local resident for efforts to secure national park status for Eagledale Ferry Docks site

Seattle, Wash-The nation’s leading voice for the national parks, the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), today honored Clarence Moriwaki, chairman of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Memorial Committee, as national parks conservationist of the year with its annual Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award. Moriwaki was singled out for his efforts to protect the former Eagledale Ferry Dock on Bainbridge Island as a satellite unit of Minidoka National Historic Site in Idaho.

"Mr. Moriwaki’s actions to promote the Eagledale Ferry Dock site were instrumental in its inclusion in the National Park System," said Sean Smith, NPCA northwest regional director. "From the beginning, the Bainbridge Island Japanese-American community and Mr. Moriwaki’s leadership have been the driving forces behind high-level support for this historic site’s designation as a national park unit."

In addition to acquiring financial and political support for the site, Moriwaki worked to build local support for the project by educating the public about the injustices suffered by the members of the Japanese-American community on Bainbridge Island during World War II.

"On behalf of the generations before me - and with the hope of inspiring generations to come - I’m deeply humbled and honored to receive this award for the 120,000 Japanese Americans whose stories of sacrifice, courage, patriotism and grace are a shining and eternal beacon for freedom loving people everywhere," said Mr. Moriwaki after learning of receiving this award.

In March 1942, the Eagledale Ferry Dock was the departure point for more than 200 residents living on Bainbridge Island-most U.S. citizens of Japanese descent-to "relocation centers" in California and Idaho. These individuals were the first of more than 120,000 of Japanese descent who were forcibly moved from their homes on the West Coast after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to isolated internment camps during the war.

"Moriwaki’s continuing efforts are a testament to the site’s historical significance and the collective desire to preserve the land, the history and the remnants of the storied docks for our children and grandchildren," Smith added.

Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice of the American people in the fight to safeguard our National Park System. NPCA, its members, and partners work together to protect the park system and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for generations to come.

NPCA's annual Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award was established in 1986 to honor individuals who often must go to great lengths to advocate and fight for the protection of the National Park System. Named for Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a life-long advocate for Everglades National Park, the award recognizes the outstanding efforts of an individual or group that result in the protection of a site or proposed site in the National Park System.



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