Coast Guard proposes disestablishment of Tawas Light, removal of Fresnel lens

Tawas Point 300CLEVELAND — The U.S. Coast Guard is proposing to disestablish the aids-to-navigation light known as Tawas Light in Tawas Point Lighthouse in East Tawas, Michigan.

The light is listed in the Light List, Volume VII Great Lakes, as number 11240.

The current light is illuminated via a fourth order classical Fresnel lens. The Coast Guard intends to use a modern optic as the light signal and plans to place it on the Tawas Point tower, which currently supports the fog signal. Furthermore, the Coast Guard intends to remove the Fresnel lens from the lighthouse cupola.

In accordance with 36 CFR 800, federal agencies must provide the public with information about an undertaking and its effects on historic properties and seek public comment and input as part of their Section 106 responsibilities.

The lenses were originally installed in lighthouses in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The lighthouses were manned by lighthouse keepers and the lenses were well taken care of. Lenses were cleaned daily and covered with light cloths during daylight hours to prevent damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Now that lighthouses are automated and no longer manned, the Coast Guard is removing these lenses to preserve them as part of national history. Removed lenses are loaned to local museums for public display.

Comments about the disestablishment and proposed new location of the modern optic, and subsequent removal of the Fresnel lens can be addressed within 30 days of this notice to Mr. Wayne Kean, U.S. Coast Guard Civil Engineering Unit in Cleveland at 216-902-6258 or

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