Law Concerning the Maintenance of Keepers at the Boston Lighthouse

Boston Lighthouse is the only lighthouse in America that is still maintained by keepers on a regular basis. Congress decided that Boston, which was our first lighthouse should remain manned and below is the law that outlines those requirements.


Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1989 (Enrolled as Agreed to or Passed by Both House and Senate)


(a) The Congress finds and declares the following:

(1) The Boston Light Station (hereafter in this section referred to as the `Boston Light') on Little Brewster Island, Boston Harbor, Massachusetts, is the Nation's oldest lighthouse station.

(2) The Boston Light is a National Historic Landmark and Little Brewster Island is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. As such, they should be administered and maintained in a way that preserves for public enjoyment and appreciation their special historic character.

(3) Continued manned operation of the Boston Light will preserve its special historic character. Any proposal to automate or modernize Boston Light must be consistent with the provisions of sections 106 and 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f and 470h-2).

(4) Efforts should be undertaken that will facilitate public access to, and enhance the public enjoyment and appreciation of, the Boston Light and Little Brewster Island.

(b) The Boston Light shall be operated on a permanently manned basis. The amounts authorized to be appropriated under sections 101 and 102 include funds--

(1) for maintenance of the keeper's house and of the Boston Lighthouse; and

(2) to enhance public access to the Boston Light and Little Brewster Island, including making pier improvements on the island.

(c) The Secretary of Transportation shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Interior, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management, the Massachusetts Historical Preservation Officer, appropriate local government entities, and private preservation groups, develop a strategy to implement policies regarding the ownership, maintenance, staffing, and use of the Boston Light. The strategy shall propose ways--

(1) to provide improved public access to the Boston Light and Little Brewster Island; and

(2) to ensure that the special historic character of the Boston Light will be preserved, with the continuing presence of Coast Guard personnel, so as to provide the best possible public enjoyment and appreciation.

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