Photo credit: Kraig Anderson
Cuckolds Island Fog Signal and Light Station
Click for PHOTO GALLERY
Lighthouses are an invaluable part of America’s maritime
heritage. These unique structures are a symbol of the strength and longevity of
our country’s trading practices and communal spirit. Many communities have
developed preservation groups for their local lighthouses to ensure that they are
well-maintained for future generations. After years of unfailing and faithful service
as beacons to sea-farers and traders, the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation
Act Program takes pride in its work with states, local communities, and
the public to convey these historic properties to new stewards that will continue
preserving their memories and historic significance.
The National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 (NHLPA), P.L. 106-355 amended the
National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA). The NHLPA provides a mechanism for the conveyance of Federally-owned historic light stations to qualified new stewards.
The NHLPA gives priority to public bodies and non-profit corporations to acquire a historic light station
at no-cost through a competitive application process administered by the Department of Interior’s National Park Services (NPS).
If no steward is identified through this process, the NHLPA authorizes the General Services Administration (GSA) to conduct a public sale of the light station.
The NHLPA Flowchart
provides an illustrative overview of the NHLPA process. The NHLPA Fact Sheet
and the NHLPA Highlights Report
also provides useful information on program accomplishments and resources.
GSA receives Reports of Excess (ROEs) from the USCG for excess lighthouses that are no longer needed by the Federal Government. GSA works with the federal partner agencies
(i.e. NPS and USCG) to determine which lighthouses will be available for conveyance to new stewards. GSA issues Notices of Availability to inform the public about these properties.
Notices of Availability are made available to public entities and non-profit corporations. Interested parties have 60 days to submit letters expressing interest in applying for the lighthouses to GSA.
During the application process, GSA, in coordination with the USCG, arranges a site visit to the lighthouse for interested parties. At the completion of the application process, GSA receives a letter from
the Secretary of the Interior indicating a recommendation for a selected steward and GSA proceeds to convey the lighthouse at no-cost to the new steward. If no one expresses interest, no application is submitted to the National Park Service, or no applicant is approved to receive the historic light station, GSA may auction the property to the public.