Maine Foghorns Will be Heard Less Because of System Change
The sound of the Maine coast will be heard a little less these days as foghorns in the states lighthouses are being replaced with an automated foghorn system.
For more than 30 years, Maine fog signals have been operated by a detection system that sees fog and triggers the foghorns to make the low steady thrum that can be heard far and wide. In 2014, the Coast Guard decided it was time to change that system because it was unreliable and parts were hard to find to fix them.
Upgrades to the new system where completed this winter to 17 Maine lighthouses. It's part of a nationwide effort to switch to a ‘marine activated system’ where boaters can trigger the foghorn if they need it.
The need for foghorns is not as great as in the past because boaters tend to have GPS systems but the romantic lure of the foghorn that will be missed. The sound of a foghorn is what makes the Maine coast the Maine coast, but the sound will be heard less frequently because of the change.