Preserving Michigan’s Lighthouses

Secretary Johnson, MSHDA Director Poleski promote fundraising plate

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan’s lighthouse license plate has a new design and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Executive Director Earl Poleski are promoting it as a way to help preserve the iconic structures on the state’s shorelines.

sosandpoleski“Michigan is a state of wondrous natural resources and breathtaking beauty,” Secretary Johnson said. “Scattered along the edges of its peninsulas, our Great Lakes State also has more than a hundred lighthouses that are majestic to behold and exciting to explore. We need to keep them in good condition for everyone to enjoy.”

Buying a Save Our Lights license plate helps preserve Michigan’s historic lighthouses. When a plate is purchased, $25 of the $35 additional fee and all $10 of subsequent fees go toward the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program, administered by the State Historic Preservation Office at MSHDA. Since 2000, the program has awarded more than $2 million in grants to lighthouse stewards for the rehabilitation of these historic structures.

“The Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program enables the State Historic Preservation Office to help lighthouse stewards preserve these beacons for all of us,” Poleski said. “Because of the generosity of people who pay a little extra for a Save Our Lights license plate, we are able to award grants to local communities committed to rehabilitating and protecting these beautiful structures for the long term.”

The new lighthouse license plate design was intended to be more representative of all of the state’s lighthouses. The old plate featured a specific lighthouse, the White Shoal Light. Lighthouses have been protecting ships from treacherous waters in Michigan since the establishment of the state’s first lighthouse, the Fort Gratiot Light, in 1825. More than 240 lighthouses once guarded Michigan’s shores. Today, only 124 of these iconic structures remain.

For more information about the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program and to order a Save Our Lights license plate, visit