Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state in the country. From tall and imposing like the Little Sable Lighthouse near Pentwater to diminutive and stout like the Detroit River Light near Lake Erie, each lighthouse has its own look and style while being originally constructed for the same critical purpose: the help safely guide mariners along the potentially trecherous waters of the Great Lakes.
Today, many lighthouses are open the public as living history museums, allowing people to walk the spiral stairs to the lantern, explore living quarters, and breath in the fresh lake air. Recognizing the iconic nature of these beacons as many were transferred out of federal ownership, in 2000 the State of Michigan established the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP) to help lighthouse stewards restore and repair their historic lighthouses. Funded by the sale of the "Save Our Lights" fundraising license plate, annual MLAP grant awards help support lighthouse preservation across the state.
Learn more about lighthouses in Michigan at the links below. When you are ready to visit a real lighthouse, explore the lighthouse guides available at michigan.org.
2021 Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP) Announcement Letter
The Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program Announcement Letter for 2021.
Previously Awarded Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP) Grants (2000-present)
Explore an interactive map of all projects funded by the MLAP grant program.
National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 (NHLPA)
The NHLPA recognizes the cultural, recreational, and educational value associated with historic light station properties by allowing them to be transferred at no cost to Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit corporations, educational agencies, and community development organizations.
Preserve Michigan Lighthouses
Michigan has more lighthouses than any other U.S. state. Learn how you can help preserve them today!