AQUINNAH, Mass. (AP) — Advocates for a historic lighthouse on Martha's Vineyard are calling for urgent action by the federal government to protect the structure from plunging nearly 130 feet into the ocean below because of relentless cliff erosion.

The Cape Cod Times reports the 51-foot Gay Head Light tower is about 50 feet from the edge of the cliffs. A contractor says at least a 40-foot perimeter is needed to safely remove it for relocation. The cliffs are losing about 1 to 2 feet a year to erosion.

The 1856 tower is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Martha's Vineyard Museum leases the lighthouse from the Coast Guard and is asking the federal government to transfer ownership of the structure to a public entity so the relocation project can proceed.

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