Preservation & Management

National Lighthouse Preservation Act

The National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 (NHLPA), 16 U.S.C. § 470w-7, an amendment to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, provides a mechanism for the disposal of Federally-owned historic light stations that have been declared excess to the needs of the responsible agency.  This site is the source for program information, available lighthouses, application information, reports, NHLPA contacts and reference materials.

Historic Lighthouse Preservation Handbook

The Historic Lighthouse Preservation Handbook created through a cooperative partnership between the U.S. Lighthouse Society, National Park Service, U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program. The 328-page preservation manual, released in August 1997, focuses primarily on the maintenance problems associated with the many different materials and construction techniques used in these unique structures. In addition to sections devoted to preservation treatments, it includes a brief history of the U.S. Lighthouse Service and lighthouse construction types; existing historic preservation laws, standards, and guidelines; case studies for both lighthouse rehabilitation and restoration projects; related activities (interpretation, funding, safety management, etc.); and sources for more information.

How to Become a Private Aid to Navigation

It’s probably a surprise to most people, but there are far more private aids to navigation in U.S. waters than government aids. Today the Coast Guard maintains about 35,000 aids to navigation. This page has info and history about these Aids and how to become one.

NPS’s National Register Bulletin 34

Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Historic Aids to Navigation to the National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is an important tool for maritime preservation. Utilizing uniform National Register criteria to evaluate significance and integrity is an important first step in planning for the preservation of historic aids to navigation. Listing an aid to navigation in the National Register provides an incentive for preservation by recognizing it as being significant and worthy of preservation. Listing also provides a measure of protection from the actions of the Federal government and can be a source of funding when monies are available.  This bulletin is intended to help Federal Historic Preservation Officers, State Historic Preservation Officers, Certified Local Governments, maritime preservation professionals, and concerned citizens nominate lighthouses and other historic aids to navigation to the National Register. General instructions for completing National Register nominations are in National Register Bulletin: Guidelines for Completing National Register of Historic Places Forms. Both bulletins should be used in tandem when preparing a nomination for a historic aid to navigation.  

NPS’s The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards

The Standards are a series of concepts about maintaining, repairing, and replacing historic materials, as well as designing new additions or making alterations.  The Guidelines offer general design and technical recommendations to assist in applying the Standards to a specific property. Together, they provide a framework and guidance for decision-making about work or changes to a historic property.  

NPS’s Preservation Briefs

Preservation Briefs provide guidance on preserving, rehabilitating, and restoring historic buildings.

State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs)

Every state and U.S. territory has a SHPO that is tasked with providing public information,  information, education, training and technical assistance for preserving historic properties.

IALA Lighthouse Conservation Manual

In cooperation with the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), the U.S. Lighthouse Society is pleased to present this unique resource to those interested in lighthouse conservation.

Fresnel Lens Insurance

The USCG requires that all Fresnel Lenses are insured while on loan. Finding such insurance may be difficult and while the US Lighthouse Society does not promote specific insurance companies we will identify known resources. The downloadable file below is the only known resource at this time.

American Lighthouse Council

The American Lighthouse Council has a website that often has valuable news and information about the lighthouse community. You can visit them at:

They also have a listing of restoration experts at:

Disaster Planning for Lighthouses

Stewardship of historic American lighthouses is a serious responsibility. The latest generation of lighthouse keepers has been entrusted with timeworn and often fragile structures that often serve less as navigational aids than as beacons to the past, shining light on the nation’s rich and colorful maritime history.

Maintenance is hard enough. Preservation is harder, requires more study and planning, and must be done with painstaking care. But stewardship also requires something more – thinking the unthinkable, and planning for it.

Fresnel Lens Conservation

The conservation of Fresnel Lenses is a critical function. Although we are supplying you with a few written documents in PDF format for downloading, we strongly suggest that you never attempt the conservation of a Fresnel Lens on your own. We recommend that you contact Arlyn Danielson at the USCG to find an approprate expert who will assist you or your organization with the proper conservation of the Fresnel Lens.