National Park Service officials have approved a plan to rehabilitate Ocracoke Light Station.
National Park Service South Atlantic-Gulf Regional Director Mark Foust on Wednesday signed a finding of no significant impact for the project’s environmental assessment at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
The environmental assessment evaluated the impacts of rehabilitating the station, which includes the Ocracoke Lighthouse, double keepers’ quarters, carpenter’s shop, store house, cisterns, privy, oil house and generator house. All are historic except for the generator house.
Officials said the rehabilitation is necessary because the historic structures were damaged in recent storms and, if the buildings are left as they are, they would be further damaged by future storms that could be exacerbated by climate change and sea level rise.
After evaluating three alternatives, the park service selected and approved its preferred alternative, which allows for the elevating of the double keepers’ quarters by 4 feet and raising the carpenter’s shop, store house, privy and generator house by up to 2 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 Superintendent David Hallac. “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.”
Officials said that under the approved alternative, the following work would be performed:
- 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 environmental and other documents, visit parkplanning.nps.gov/CAHA_ocracoke_lightstation.