Chesterton Tribune

New Dunes Lakeshore superintendent has protected beaches, authored cult classic Killer Tomatoes

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A new superintendent has been selected for the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Constantine (Costa) Dillon will assume the superintendentís post at the National Lakeshore in late September. He will replace Dale Engquist, who retired at the start of this year.

Dillon comes to the National Lakeshore from the National Park Serviceís Horace Albright Training Center at the Grand Canyon in Arizona, where he has been superintendent since 2002.

Prior to that, he was superintendent at the Fire Island National Seashore in New York, a post he held since 1997.

According to a National Park Service press release from 2002, Dillon received a number of awards while at Fire Island, including the Department of the Interior Superior Service Award in 2002, Secretary of the Interiorís Award for Long-Term Achievement in Diversity in 2000, the Regional Directorís Safety Award in 1999, and the National Park Conservation Associationís Stephen T. Mather Award for Resource Stewardship in 1999.

Under Dillon, the park received the Secretary of the Interiorís Unit Award for Excellence of Service in 2002 and recognition for its September 11 response and assistance to New York City.

Also at Fire Island, Dillon oversaw a successful recovery of the piping plover, a federally endangered shore bird that also lives at the National Lakeshore.

He also oversaw management of the nationís only immuno-contraception program for deer management and a nation-leading program in mosquito monitoring to protect public health.

Killer Tomatoes

Aside from his acheivements with the National Park Service, Dillon might be most famous as the creator of the 1978 cult classic film Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! and its sequels, Return of the Killer Tomatoes!, Killer Tomatoes Strike Back!, and Killer Tomatoes Eat France.

Beach Protection

An entry in the online Wikipedia encyclopedia also states that while at Fire Island, Dillon successfully prevented destructive and expensive beach manipulation that would have used taxpayer dollars to benefit private homeowners and damaged natural beaches and marshes.

He began his career with the National Park Service at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he served as an interpretive park ranger.

He eventually went on to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, Gettysburg National Military Park, Eisenhower National Historic Site, Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site, and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

His first superintendency was at Homestead National Monument of America, where he served from 1993-1997.

An official announcement from the National Park Service about Dillonís hiring at the National Lakeshore is expected this week.


Posted 8/20/2007