Old Saybrook Lighthouse Politics of Preservation
Once again, Old Saybrook Lighthouse is in the news apparently to fuel the flames of a controversy between local political concerns and federal Lighthouse Preservation procedures. First Selectman Michael Pace has noted the Town of Old Saybrook was originally interested in Lighthouse ownership, followed by their grave concerns over public safety and public access, and he is currently requesting the federal government to keep ownership of the Lighthouse.
At stake is the possible future restoration and preservation of one or two historic active Lighthouses in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Before releasing a Notice of Availability to the public, the General Services Administration assesses historic Lighthouse properties first.
In this unusually extended media event (1), Congressman Joe Courtney has scheduled a January 30th conference meeting for First Selectman Michael Pace to voice his three concerns about the potential transfer or auction of Old Saybrook Lighthouse to the Coast Guard and the General Services Administration.
Beside the emergency management and public access issues, Old Saybrook Lighthouse, located at the end of a half-mile jetty to aid entering the mouth of the Connecticut River, is a “critical safety beacon for boaters” according to First Selectman Michael Pace.
Yet, the Coast Guard is committed to operating the Outer Lighthouse as an Active Navigational Aid and may excess the Lighthouse Landmark to a organization for restoration and preservation.
Old Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse is a popular symbol of the community and the icon of a Connecticut “Save the Sound” license plate used as a part of the drive to preserve Long Island Sound. Surprisingly, no local group has proactively stepped forward with a “Save Our Sentinel” plan to preserve their historic active Symbol of Safety before a Notice of Availability is officially released.
To date, the online news has only reported the local concerns voiced by the Town government and the residents living in the private borough of Fenwick.
As noted in a previous post, the best short term solution is to transfer ownership to the National Park Service until all the issues can be resolved. The National Park Service currently owns and maintains at least 23 Lighthouses (2).
In the meantime, Katharine Hepburn provided 4 acres of beachfront property in Fenwick as protected undeveloped land with a view of the Outer Light for public enjoyment!
For more information about the Lighthouses, please the “Saybrook Breakwater Light Privacy Problems” post.
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse
(1) News of Lighthouse ownership transfer is generally reported after the General Services Administration publicly releases a Notice of Availability. After a Notice of Availability has been announced, interested Non-profit organizations and local governments have two months to submit their Letter of Interest. The National Park Service reviews the submitted Non-profit applications in private and the process averages one year to complete.
According to the Secretary of the Interior, Old Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse and Lynde Point Lighthouse have not been officially recommended for ownership transfer per the latest list of 36 Lighthouses recommended for transfer and a Notice of Availability has not been issued by the General Services Administration.
If no local government or non-profit group expresses a interest in owning the Lighthouse, the Lighthouse may be placed on the market for private sale using the GSA online auction.
(2) The National Park Service owns and maintains the following Lighthouses:
• Bear Island Lighthouse
• Derby Wharf Light • Three Sisters Lights • Nauset Lighthouse
• Cape Cod (Highland) Lighthouse
• Fire Island Lighthouse • Sandy Hook Lighthouse
• Bodie Island Lighthouse • Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
• Cape Lookout Lighthouse • Ocracoke Island Lighthouse
• Cockspur Island Light
• Dry Tortugas (Loggerhead Key) Light • Tortugas Harbor (Fort Jefferson) Light
• Au Sable Lighthouse • Rock Harbor Lighthouse
• Alcatraz Island Lighthouse • Anacapa Island Light • Fort Point Light • Point Bonita Lighthouse • Old Point Loma Lighthouse, • Point Reyes Lighthouse • Molokai (Kalauppa) Light
Related News Story:
Preventing Sale Of Lighthouse On Agenda
Technorati Tags: lighthouse, Old Saybrook Lighthouse Politics of Preservation, Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse, Lynde Point Lighthouse, Saybrook Inner Lighthouse, Fenwick Point, Connecticut River, Old Saybrook, Connecticut