ROCKLAND — There is $125,000 set aside for the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse in the draft Fiscal Year 2023 Interior appropriations bill.

The bill, which was officially released by the full Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday, July 28, must still be voted upon by the full Senate and House, according to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Collins said she secured the money for the iconic lighthouse.

The funding would be used to repair and restore the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The project would protect the lighthouse from the elements, address rot in several locations, address chipping paint/lead safety, and restore missing or damaged architectural details such as shutters, plaster, and wood trim.

“Rockland’s downtown and waterfront are focal points for the community and draw thousands of visitors each year,” Collins said. “This investment would restore the historic Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse and preserve this local landmark, which promotes tourism and guides fishermen safely home. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I will champion this funding as the appropriations process moves forward.”

The historic Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse is now back in the hands of the city of Rockland.

The lighthouse has been owned by the city since 1998 but it has leased the iconic building since 2001 to Friends of Rockland Harbor Lights, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation.

The lighthouse was completed in September 1902 and the light itself was automated in 1965 and is maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. The Samoset Resort maintained the building for years until 1989 when a nationwide program turned lights over to municipalities and organizations. Rockland accepted ownership in 1998.

The breakwater, an eight-tenths of a mile long path of granite locks, and the lighthouse, are the number one tourist attraction in the city and draw locals out there throughout the warmer weather.