Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lighthouses endagered

Lighthouses are a species at risk in Canada. The federal government has suddenly decided to finally dump 976 lighthouses across the country- they have been edging up to it for years.

These iconic structures are costly to maintain and so the government has decided to give up doing it.

They apparently expect citizen groups to band together and maintain them. This has been done with some success in several communities-with lots of hard work over a long period of time. To expect that 976 more groups will form overnight and step up to the plate is dreaming. Of course the feds don't care what happens to lighthouses. They are inlanders, far removed from any seriously navigable water and have no apparent cultural sensitivities and no imagination.

Sure the Coast Guard has developed more efficient aids to navigation (in some cases) and have eliminated fog signals, another reason lighthouses were built, and yes they may no longer fulfil their original purpose.

Nevertheless lighthouses speak about our maritime past and are important landmarks no matter whether they are aids to navigation now or not.

George's Island light, plunk in the middle of Halifax Harbour is one of those that is threatened as are 138 in Nova Scotia alone. Meagher's Beach, shown in the background of the Blog Header may not be threatened, but if 976 go, how many will be left?
It would be a shame to see then go, and our government is trying to dodge the responsibility to keep them. Citizens groups have shown what it takes to preserve them, so surely any sensible government could learn from that and develop a program to save at least the most important structures and to assist local groups.

No comments:

Post a Comment