Lighthouse Environmental Programs awarded $21,600 in grants to six Washington state lighthouses for restoration projects June 13, 2016. The grants are funded by the sales of Washington Lighthouse License Plates, which have provided more than $220,000 in grant funding since 2009.
The Washington lighthouses receiving grants this year are:
Mukilteo, $4,800 to replace windows;
Lighthouse on Patos Island part of San Juan Islands National Monument
Photo from Washington Lighthouses website
Patos Island in the San Juan Islands, $4,000 for an educational exhibit;
Swiftsure Lightship in Seattle $3,300 for a cooks galley restoration;
Burrows Island near Anacortes, $3,000 for a duplex restoration;
Lighthouse on Stuart Island Photo from Washington Lighthouses website
Turn Point on Stuart Island in the San Juan Islands, $2,900 for floors and counters in the lighthouse keepers unit;
Point No Point on the Kitsap Peninsula, $3,600 for a workroom exterior door.
Washington Lighthouse specialty license plates can be used on cars, motorcycles, trailers or RVs.
For each license plate sold and renewed, LEP, which manages the license plate funds, receives $28, an amount that is tax-deductible for the driver. Restoration projects also benefit from the time, services and products donated by local businesses and performed by teams of dedicated volunteers, whom devote hundreds of hours every year to help keep lighthouses shining.
The 12 nonprofit lighthouses and one lightship eligible for grants attract thousands of maritime enthusiasts and cultural visitors every year. Many visitors are from within the state, but log books show that the majority of visitors are from other states, as well as Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia. While admission to lighthouses is often free, these visitors will spend money on lodging, food and shopping, helping small businesses thrive.