The highest bid was up to $381,000 Wednesday morning on the federal government’s auction of one-acre Little Gull Island, just beyond the eastern tip of Plum Island in Long Island Sound.
The auction was scheduled to end just before 4 p.m. Wednesday, though the U.S. General Services Administration reserved the right to extend the bidding beyond that time.
According to the GSA, eight bidders have been vying to purchase the island, which includes a 450-square-foot light station built in 1869. A sound signal blasts from the station every 15 seconds. The island is a foraging area for roseate and least terns, which nest on neighboring Great Gull Island.
The New London Maritime Society announced last week that it had placed a $100,000 bid on the island and set up a fundraising website at http://en.indiegogo.com/Save-Little-Gull-Island to raise funds to increase their bid.
As of Monday afternoon, they’d raised $552 toward their $50,000 goal.
The “coffee pot”-style lighthouse in Plum Gut known as Orient Point Lighthouse was auctioned off by GSA earlier this fall.
GSA spokesman Patrick Sciafani said this week that a winning bid of $120,000 for the lighthouse was awarded on Oct. 8. GSA will not disclose the name of the winning bidder until the closing on the property, which he estimated would take place within 60 days.
Mr. Sciafani said the auction for Little Gull Island is extended for 24 hours each time a new bid is made.
The Greenport-based East End Seaport Museum & Marine Foundation, which recently rebuilt and maintains Bug Light lighthouse in Orient, did not submit a bid on either Little Gull Island or the Orient Point Lighthouse. The organization said it lacked the financial resources required.