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Bidding on Little Gull Island Up to $290,000, Nonprofit 'Biting Nails'

Save the Sound representative says bidding might be too high to buy Little Gull Island — but they're not giving up yet.

Though about $150,000 has been raised by various Connecticut non-profits to buy Little Gull Island and its historic lighthouse, the fundraising effort has become even more of a challenge to match the latest high bid of $290,000.

But according to Leah Schmalz, director of legislative and legal affairs from non-profit group Save the Sound, no one has thrown in the towel yet.

“We are still working the phones trying to drum up donations and have our fingers crossed, she said. "Donors have been very generous and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has kindly offered to manage the property. We are all biting our nails and hope the end result protects Little Gull’s special historical and habitat value.”

Non-profit organizations like Save the Sound, the Quebec-Labrador Foundation and the New London Community Foundation have been working with the New London Maritime Society to raise money over the past few weeks to buy the 1-acre island, located between Plum Island and Fishers Island in the Long Island Sound, in order to keep it open to the public. The island is on a list of former Coast Guard lighthouse properties that the U.S. General Services Administration is trying to sell.

Little Gull Island is in a critical foraging area for roseate and least terns, and it is also the home to a historic lighthouse built in 1806. According to gsaauctions.gov, the current bid stands at $290,000 as of 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

Bidding closes on Saturday at 11:19 a.m., according to the listing. The GSA will not release personal information of bidders until the property is deeded.

Susan Tamulevich October 12, 2012 at 10:35 PM
. As one of our foreign visitors noted: ‘Lighthouses are to maritime America what cathedrals and castles are to Europe’ –they live in our imagination and are part of the living fabric of this nation. New London Harbor Lighthouse, Ledge Light, Little Gull and Race Rock Lighthouse share a geography, a history, and a need for preservation. Tell your elected officials if you agree and want GSA to select the bidder who will r\preserve and conserve this national treasure.
ed finnegan October 14, 2012 at 01:28 PM
if you and others of like sensitivities are so intent on conserving this national treasure , you and those others should cooperate and purchase it yourselves at whatever price the market dictates...why should "elected officials" give preference to any one group over another?
Victor M October 16, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Really Mr. Finnegan? How about because it will be best for future generations? While your POV may look good on paper, the country would be an ugly and culturally vacant place if it were not for those groups who fight to protect our heritage on their own time. No one said it shouldn't be sold for market value. But wouldn't the best outcome for future generations be that the land (at the very least) is privately owed by someone who will care for the history vs level it for a private mansion or dumping ground?

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