05/31/2012 03:29 EDT | Updated 07/31/2012 05:12 EDT

Parks Canada expects 350 lighthouses to be petitioned to receive heritage status

OTTAWA - Parks Canada says it expects about 350 lighthouses will be nominated to receive heritage designations.

Norman Shields, the department's manager of the heritage lighthouse program, says it has received petitions to protect lighthouses from groups in every province except Manitoba, Alberta and the territories.

Groups had until this past Tuesday to file petitions to have the individual lighthouses receive the designation and have ownership transferred to them.

The Department of Fisheries declared more than 500 lighthouses surplus as it steps away from the business of maintaining the structures.

The groups also need to submit a business plan before being granted ownership and receiving the heritage designation, which would require its character to be preserved.

Shields says around 95 lighthouses in Nova Scotia — including Peggy's Cove — have been petitioned, but that they don't have a final tally since they are still going through them.