Over 23 days, the beacon was relocated 2,900 feet inland, where it stands today, away from the threat of the encroaching Atlantic. When the lighthouse was completed in 1870, it was 1,500 feet from the ocean. But after a century of tides washing over the island, moving sand from oceanside to soundside, just 120 feet separated it from the surf. In 1980, the National Park Service started planning for long-term protection. The park service began a three-year public input process and in 1987, reached out the National Academy of Sciences, which submitted a report recommending moving the lighthouse as the most cost-effective protection, according to the Park Service. The move was debated for years. Then, in 1996, North Carolina State University reviewed the report and then produced its own, Saving the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse from the Sea, in January 1997, also recommending moving the lighthouse. Funding was appropriated by Congress in fiscal year 1998. In early 1999 before the lighthouse was moved, the principal keeper’s quarters, double keepers’ quarters, oil house, cisterns and sidewalks were relocated, with all the buildings placed in the same relative position as they were origina...