Little Gull Island off Orient Point for sale

Passengers get an up-close look at the Little

Passengers get an up-close look at the Little Gull Island Lighthouse. (July 17, 2010) Photo Credit: Beth Whitehouse

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Island for sale. One-acre property located 7 nautical miles from Orient Point. Features a historic 81-foot lighthouse and mostly rocky land. No electricity, and accessible by boat only. Cash deal.

For those seeking a peaceful retreat, however, Little Gull Island may not be the spot. A signal blasts every 15 seconds from the lighthouse and the new owner can't build any structure that restricts visibility to or from the lighthouse.

The federal auction for the island ends Thursday at 3:25 p.m. There were at least seven registered bidders, but a representative from the federal General Services Administration, which is in charge of the auction, said bidders' names are not disclosed.

The island is on a website that lists excess government buildings and properties and includes a few other lighthouses around the country. As of 7 p.m. Wednesday night, the highest bid for Gull Island was $270,000. The starting bid was $50,000 and bidders were required to deposit $25,000.

Little Gull Island is in the Long Island Sound near neighboring Great Gull Island, home of nesting birds, and Plum Island, an animal disease research center slated to be closed by the federal government.

Little Gull Island is a "critical foraging area for roseate and least terns" since it is near Great Gull, which includes "North America's largest colony of the roseate terns," an endangered species, according to a news release by Save the Sound in Connecticut, which bid for the island with New London Maritime Society.

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The two environmental groups made last-minute calls to bid as high as $200,000, said Leah Schmalz, director of legislative and legal affairs for Save the Sound, but was outbid.

To follow the bidding, go to A public hearing is scheduled for Oct. 18 at Greenport High School to discuss the sale of Plum Island.

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A sign marking the entrance to Orient stands Town Focus: Orient