U.S. And Canadian Lights Dimming

News From The World Of American Boating

By Kevin Walters

Lighthouses, increasingly expensive to maintain and operate, have become antiquated parts of navigation today. As a result, it seems abandoned and rundown lighthouses are becoming commonplace on the waterways of both the U.S. and Canada — a sad state of affairs for maritime history buffs, boaters who find reward in the ways of traditional navigation, or anyone who appreciates the aesthetics of these beautiful beacons. Fortunately, each country has a federal law that seeks to preserve certain lighthouses through specific programs (the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 in the U.S., and the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act of 2008 in Canada). However, not all lighthouses qualify for protection, and many likely will end up being demolished or abandoned. While the details vary in each country, the key to lighthouses being saved is for nonprofit organizations, local governments, or in some cases private citizens to take ownership of qualifying lighthouses. So if you've ever dreamed of being a lighthouse keeper or want to own a truly unique piece of waterfront real estate, here's your chance. To see what lighthouses are currently available in the U.S. go to www.nps.gov/maritime/#pilot. 

— Published: April/May 2013

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