After the decline of shipping in the late 1970’s, the lighthouse was declared surplus by the Department of Transportation. For 20 years the lighthouse stood neglected and vandalized. It was put up for sale by tender. The Municipality of East Hants purchased it in 1991 and it was designated a Municipal Heritage Property (heritage status) on August 12, 1992. Two local residents, Frederick (Ted) Burgess and Reginald (Reggie) Clark, set out to save it and preserve the area’s rich heritage. They spearheaded efforts to clear the property, incorporate walking trails, repair the lighthouse and promote the site as a tourist designation. Through the help of government grants and funding, as well as considerable volunteer effort, they succeeded. The Walton Lighthouse was designated a Provincial Heritage Property (heritage status) on April 12, 2012. It is currently owned by the Municipality of East Hants and maintained by the non-profit organization, Walton and Area Development Association (WADA), a volunteer group.