Round Island Lighthouse restoration project up for $250k grant

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Efforts to rebuild the Round Island Lighthouse could get a big financial boost from the Pepsi Refresh contest.

The Round Island Lighthouse project has been selected as a potential Pepsi Refresh - Do Good for the Gulf grant recipient. You can vote online at throughout the month of August.

The $250,000 grant would pay for brick and masonry work on the lighthouse, recasting the old metal for a new lantern gallery and building an information center.

The 1859 lighthouse was toppled by Hurricane Georges in the late 1990s and further damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Pieces of the tower have been stored in Pascagoula since the structure fell.

In July 2010, with funding from FEMA and Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the base of Round Island Lighthouse was moved from Round Island to the mainland where it will be restored in the city's downtown district near the US 90 high-rise bridge over the Pascagoula River.

Once the site work is complete at the new location, the base will be set in place. The site will connect to the Pascagoula Historic Pathway, a two mile long walking path which will begin construction in Fall 2010.

The final phase will be to rebuild the tower using primarily salvaged bricks and restore the original lantern gallery. Funds are now being raised for the restoration of the tower and a supporting information center.

Only two grants of this amount will be awarded, so vote early and often. You can vote each day. It requires you to set up a log-in, but it's quick and easy. The Round Island Lighthouse Project is listed as a $250,000 Arts and Culture project.

For more information on the Round Island Lighthouse, check out or become a fan of the Round Island Lighthouse on Facebook at

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.