Department Of Interior
|Office of the Secretary||
CONTACT: Joan Moody
|For Immediate Release:May 26, 2004||
12th Lighthouse under National Preservation Program:
Secretary Norton Announces Transfer of St Simon's Lighthouse
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA - In a ceremony on St. Simon's Island, Ga., Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton today initiated transfer of the St. Simons Island lighthouse from the U.S. Coast Guard to the Coastal Georgia Historical Society.
"The Coastal Georgia
Historical Society is an example of the ideal lighthouse steward because
it has restored the buildings and grounds of the St. Simons Island Light
Station over the past 25 years," Secretary Norton said.
"Groups like the society
and its volunteers are the lifeblood of lighthouse preservation around
The announcement made St.
Simons the 12th lighthouse recommended for transfer under the National
Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act (NHLPA), which the Interior Department
administers through its National Park Service in cooperation with the
General Services Administration and the Coast Guard.
"The St. Simons Island
Lighthouse is the single most distinctive and recognizable symbol on
the island, and one of the premier landmarks along the Georgia coast,"
Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue said today. "I thank Secretary Norton
and her department for recommending the transfer of this historic lighthouse
to the Coastal Georgia Historical Society."
The ceremony was co-hosted
by Chairman Fred Cooper and other members of the U.S. host committee
for the G-8, a group of leaders of the eight top industrialized nations
including President Bush that will be meeting from June 8-10 at Sea
Island, Georgia. Following the Sea Island Summit, a legacy project will
be housed at the planned new heritage center of the Coastal Georgia
"It is fitting that
the U.S. G8 Host Committee is helping host this event today because
the lighthouse illustrates the benefits of tourism to coastal economies."
Secretary Norton said.
Pat Morris, Executive Director,
Coastal Georgia Historical Society; Edwin Fielder, Regional Administrator
of the General Services Administration; and Jack Cocking of the U.S.
Coast Guard were among the dignitaries participating in the lighthouse
transfer under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act (NHLPA).
NHLPA authorizes transfer
of historic lighthouses from the Coast Guard to whatever federal, state
and local agencies; nonprofits; or economic development organizations
can best protect them.
The National Park Service
is studying more than 300 lighthouses on the East Coast, West Coast,
and Great Lakes for possible transfer under the law. Most recently,
Secretary Norton announced transfers of Thomas Point Light in Maryland,
Point Sur Lighthouse in California and Sentinel Island in Alaska.
In June 2002, at Tybee Island,
Norton announced the transfer of the Tybee Island Light in Georgia and
the St. Augustine Light in Florida.
For more information on the NHLPA, see http://www.cr.nps.gov/maritime.
A photo of the lighthouse
can be found at www.doi.gov,
courtesy of the Coastal Georgia Historical Society.
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