On Wednesday, August 23, National Park Service (NPS) South Atlantic-Gulf Regional Director Mark Foust signed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Ocracoke Light Station Rehabilitation Project Environmental Assessment (EA) at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
The EA evaluated the impacts of rehabilitating the Ocracoke Light Station, which includes the Ocracoke Lighthouse, Double Keepers’ Quarters, Carpenter’s Shop, Store House, Cisterns, Privy, Oil House and Generator House; all of which are historic except for the Generator House.
Rehabilitation of the Ocracoke Light Station at Cape Hatteras National Seashore is necessary because the historic structures have been damaged from recent storms and if the buildings are left as they are, it is expected they will be damaged further by future storms that could be exacerbated by climate change and sea level rise.
After evaluating three alternatives, the NPS selected and approved the preferred alternative, which allows for the elevating of the double keepers’ quarters by four feet, and raising the carpenter’s shop, store house, privy and generator house by up to two feet. The Ocracoke Lighthouse and Oil House will not be elevated. All buildings and structures will also be repaired and repainted.
“Elevating most of the structures at the Ocracoke Light Station is an important step in adapting to potentially stronger storms and higher water levels near the property,” said David Hallac, superintendent, National Parks of Eastern North Carolina. “After detailed designs are completed in the next year, Cape Hatteras National Seashore will begin the process of selecting contractors to do the elevation and rehabilitation work to these important buildings.”
Under the approved alternative, the Ocracoke Lighthouse will be rehabilitated to include the following actions:
- Remove the shotcrete from the exterior of the lighthouse and replace it with a coating that will allow appropriate protection of the masonry and moisture control
- Replace damaged masonry, including bricks and mortar
- Repair or replace windows with historically appropriate windows
- Repair leaks at the top lantern and repaint
- Recoat interior masonry
- Expose the original stone foundation
- As an option, replace interior metal staircase with wooden spiral staircase to match original material and orientation
To view the EA, FONSI and associated documents, visit parkplanning.nps.gov/CAHA_ocracoke_lightstation.
This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.