By Tim Kowols
The proposed removal of the final Fresnel lenses protecting the shores of Lake Michigan could provide a vital link between now and maritime history. The United States Coast Guard announced last week that it plans on removing the Fresnel lenses from nine different lighthouses on the Great Lakes, including those in Algoma and Kewaunee, by 2018. Door County Maritime Museum curator Adam Gronke says with the lack of care they receive, it is a good idea to remove the fragile beacons.
The United States Coast Guard plans on replacing the Fresnel lenses with new LED lanterns, which they say are more dependable and energy efficient. Gronke says keeping the Fresnel lens at a museum in a controlled environment will extend its lifespan.