Secretary Salazar Selects Town of Rockport, Thatcher Island Association as New Owners of Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse

Last edited 09/29/2021

ROCKPORT, Ma. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the selection of the Town of Rockport in partnership with the Thatcher Island Association to acquire the historic Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse, based on a recommendation by the National Park Service.

Under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, Salazar will forward his selection to the administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration, who will transfer ownership of the lighthouses from the U.S. Coast Guard to the new owners.

“Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse has marked the entrance to Rockport Harbor since the 19th Century and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987,” Salazar said. “By transferring ownership of the lighthouse to the Town of Rockport in partnership with the Thatcher Island Association, the American people can be assured that is this important part of our nation's rich maritime history will be preserved for future generations.”

The act, enacted in 2000, authorizes transfer of historic lighthouses from the Coast Guard to whatever federal, state and local agencies; nonprofits; or community development organizations can best protect them.

Under the act, the new owners must ensure the lighthouse will be used for recreational, historic, cultural or educational purposes and made available to the general public at reasonable times and under reasonable conditions.

The historic lighthouse is still active and has a green light that flashes every six seconds. Straitsmouth Island itself is owned by the Massachusetts Audubon Society as a bird and wildlife sanctuary.

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