Community groups asked to save surplus lighthouses
Eight to 10 of P.E.I.'s most significant lighthouses still have not had anyone step up to save them.
About 40 lighthouses on the Island have been declared surplus by the Canadian Coast Guard. A process has been put in place to allow community groups to take the lighthouses over, and Parks Canada says 16 groups have successfully petitioned for lighthouses on the Island.
Pat and Keith Notman couldn't stand the thought of the Covehead Lighthouse falling into the wrong hands. Sitting in P.E.I. National Park between Dalvay and Brackley Beach, it is one of the best know lighthouses in the province. They started a petition to save it. They only needed 25 names, but got 250.
"The light is part of the community. It's what the community sees as they come down to the beach," said Pat Notman.
"It's Covehead Lighthouse. We would miss it terribly."
Carol Livingstone, president of the P.E.I. Lighthouse Society, has been rallying Islanders to petition for one of the few lighthouses that are still up for grabs.
"There's currently some work going on, and quite a number of the petitions have already been received, but there's eight to 10 that still need someone to look after them," said Livingstone.
If no community group comes forward during the petition process, it does not necessarily mean the end of the lighthouse, said Andrew Anderson of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
"We will still continue to seek opportunities to transfer ownership of those properties and our focus will remain on doing so in a manner that preserves the heritage character of the lighthouse," said Anderson.
Any lighthouse that is not spoken for before the deadline, however, could lose its heritage designation.
The deadline to acquire a lighthouse through the Heritage Lighthouse Project is May 29.