North Hempstead, NY - April 26, 2016 - U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $165,000 in federal funding to the Stepping Stones Lighthouse: First Steps to Rehabilitation initiative in the Town of North Hempstead on Long Island. Funding was allocated through the Department of Transportation’s National Maritime Heritage Program and the National Park Service. The initial funding will be used to install a temporary floating dock and ramp and includes further construction to prevent water damage to the foundation. Earlier this year, Schumer wrote to and publicly urged NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis to provide this federal funding. Gillibrand made her initial push last year, urging the Department of the Interior to provide funding through the National Maritime Heritage Program.
“I’m pleased that the National Park Service has heeded our call by making the historic Stepping Stones Lighthouse a priority,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “Now that the Town of North Hempstead has been granted this federal funding, the Stepping Stones Lighthouse can finally be rehabilitated and remain a landmark structure on Long Island.”
“Stepping Stones Lighthouse remains an educational resource and critical navigational tool today,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “I fought for this initial funding, urging the Department of the Interior to invest in renovations to the Stepping Stones Lighthouse because of weathering from constant use and exposure to the elements. Through the Maritime Heritage Program we can finally begin the rebuilding process to stabilize and secure the foundation of the lighthouse so it would be safe to proceed with for future renovations.”
“I’d like to thank Senator Schumer for being such a powerful advocate for our Stepping Stones Lighthouse. We are grateful that NHS is providing this grant funding, which will allow us to address some of the major structural projects that need to be done as soon as possible. We are fully committed to restoring this local piece of Maritime history and we can’t wait to get started,” said Judi Bosworth, North Hempstead Town Supervisor.
The Maritime Heritage Program supports a broad range of maritime education and preservation projects. The Town of North Hempstead acquired Stepping Stones Lighthouse from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2008 to restore the site and utilize as an educational tool to share the American maritime heritage.