Sunday, March 23, 2008

Life preserver

The State of Michigan has come up with an innovative way to preserve its Great Lakes maritime heritage.

According to a report last week from the University of Michigan's Capital News Service, the state began selling special "Save Our Lights" license plates back in 2001. Since then, 14,337 of the plates have been sold, generating US$215,800 in revenue, all of which will be doled out to lights around the state in the form of grants.

Given that most historic lighthouses rely on volunteer labour to keep going, this is a significant amount of cash, indeed. And the need is certainly there; according to the Capital News Service, Michigan has more lights than any other state in the U.S.

One of the lights in line for a grant is Michigan's Grand Traverse lighthouse, which runs an innovative program that allows volunteers to sign on as keeper for short stints during the summer months. You can read more about this light here.

Read the story from the Capital News Service here.

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