Amid much controversy and debate, the current Omnibus Bill that recently passed Congress and was signed into law by the president provides for some big money for lighthouse preservation.
$225,000 for Point Betsie Lighthouse in Frankfort, Michigan, which has been owned by Benzie County since 2004 and is operated by the Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse. The lighthouse, which may well be the most photographed lighthouse in Michigan, was also the last to be automated. In 1996 the government removed the 4th order Fresnel lens from the 1858 station.
$380,000 to the American Lighthouse Foundation of Rockland Maine, which has more lighthouses under its auspices than any other lighthouse group in the nation. The group has ten lighthouses in Maine and the money, which was earmarked and heartedly endorsed by both of Maine’s senators, is reportedly to be used for Maine lighthouse preservation projects. The lighthouses that might receive the most benefit from the money are Wood Island Lighthouse in Biddeford Pool and Owls Head Lighthouse near Rockland. Both lighthouses, if opened to the public on a regular basis, could be a boon to the states tourist economy while raising money for other lighthouse preservation projects.
$5 million to the National Park Service for lighthouse restoration projects within Wisconsin’s Apostle Island National Lakeshore. Amazingly, the Park Service actually wanted $12 million for restoration and repair projects at six lighthouses, which averages out to an amazing $2 million dollars per lighthouse.
$3 million for the restoration of Bodie Island Lighthouse, North Carolina, which, for many years, has been on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List of Endangered Lighthouses. This will be the first major restoration on the lighthouse since it was built in 1870.
This story appeared in the
April 2009 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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