State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle is trying to save the Montauk Lighthouse from shore erosion.
LaValle, of Port Jefferson, hopes to give the New York State Department of Conservation permission to protect designated national historic sites against shore erosion. The DEC cannot currently “enter into financially obligated agreements with nonprofit organizations to halt erosion,” according to LaValle.
LaValle’s legislation, which will give the DEC commissioner the necessary authority to protect National Historic Landmarks from the brutal effects of shore erosion, was passed in the Senate on Tuesday.
The legislation is currently awaiting approval in the Assembly, where Assemblyman Fred Thiele, of Sag Harbor, is sponsoring the bill.
With the new bill, LaValle hopes he will be able to “provide the DEC with the tools necessary to save our pristine shorelines and our historic places, like the Montauk Lighthouse.”
The Montauk Point Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in New York State and was initially authorized for construction by Congress under President George Washington in 1792. Construction was completed in November of 1796.
The lighthouse was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2012.
The Montauk Historical Society, a nonprofit organization that works to preserve the historic monument using donations, has owned the lighthouse since 1996. It is the fourth oldest active lighthouse in the United States.
Donations can be made to the Montauk Historical Society to assist with their preservation of the Montauk Point Lighthouse at montauklighthouse.com/lighthousefund.htm.