Light Pollution Effects on Wildlife and Ecosystems

Source: International Dark-Sky Association

For billions of years, all life has relied on Earth’s predictable rhythm of day and night. It’s encoded in the DNA of all plants and animals. Humans have radically disrupted this cycle by lighting up the night.

Plants and animals depend on Earth’s daily cycle of light and dark rhythm to govern life-sustaining behaviors such as reproduction, nourishment, sleep and protection from predators.

Scientific evidence suggests that artificial light at night has negative and deadly effects on many creatures including amphibians, birds, mammals, insects and plants.

Artificial Lights Disrupt the World’s Ecosystems

Nocturnal animals sleep during the day and are active at night. Light pollution radically alters their nighttime environment by turning night into day.

According to research scientist Christopher Kyba, for nocturnal animals, “the introduction of artificial light probably represents the most drastic change human beings have made to their environment.”

“Predators use light to hunt, and prey species use darkness as cover,” Kyba explains “Near cities, cloudy skies are now hundreds, or even thousands of times brighter than they were 200 years ago. We are only beginning to learn what a drastic effect this has had on nocturnal ecology.”

Glare from artificial lights can also impact wetland habitats that are home to amphibians such as frogs and toads, whose nighttime croaking is part of the breeding ritual. Artificial lights disrupt this nocturnal activity, interfering with reproduction and reducing populations.

Click here to continue reading this on the International Dark-Sky Association’s website.


Outdoor Lighting Basics

Modern society requires outdoor lighting for a variety of needs, including safety and commerce. IDA recognizes this but advocates that any required lighting be used wisely. To minimize the harmful effects of light pollution, lighting should

  • Only be on when needed
  • Only light the area that needs it
  • Be no brighter than necessary
  • Minimize blue light emissions
  • Be fully shielded (pointing downward)

Learn more at www.darksky.org.

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Letter to Folsom re Ecological Light Pollution

Subject: Agenda item 8(a) under New Business of the November 27, 2018 City Council Meeting — Bridge Lighting
Date: 11/27/2018 03:11 PM

Dear Mayor Miklos:

The “presentation on the opportunity to light the upstream side the Lake Natoma Crossing Bridge” implies bringing new lighting to Lake Natoma, American River Parkway, and Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.

In a word — DON’T.

Additional night lighting would expand the impact of Ecological Light Pollution to the area.

Theatrical vanity lighting on the bridge is unnecessary and detrimental to the ecology of the area.

The night time environment of Lake Natoma, American River Parkway, and Folsom Lake State Recreation Area should be preserved as much as possible.

Protect, Moderate, Mitigate —

Protect – Protect the night time environment of Lake Natoma, American River Parkway, and Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.

Moderate – Should any additional lighting including the proposed lighting be installed, it must be extremely low level and controlled including time of use.

Mitigate – Should any additional lighting including the proposed lighting be installed, other lighting in the area should be reduced.

This topic provides an opportunity for the City of Folsom to embrace reducing night time lighting impacts on Lake Natoma and on the entire region.

Having studied and advocated for reduction in bridge lighting to protect salmon from the impacts of night lighting, I am concerned that this type of lighting may start a bad trend to light bridges in the Lower American River and other in the region.

Dialog on this topic provides an opportunity to the City of Folsom to consider an Outdoor Lighting ordinance such as the City of Malibu has recently enacted.

As I understand the city is well on it’s way to improved lighting with the adaptation of 3000K color temperature for most of municipal lighting.
The International Dark-Sky Association requires 3000K or below to qualify for its Fixture Seal of Approval. Many cities around the world are implementing 2700K for all lighting.

Regards,

Jack E. Sales

California Section International Dark-Sky Association

cc:
Ernie Sheldon, City Council
Andy Morin, City Council
Kerri Howell, City Council
Roger Gaylord III, City Council
Lynda Konopka, Deputy City Clerk

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It’s Not Too Late to Sponsor the Environmentalist of the Year Awards!

Dear Friend of the Environment:

The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) has been hosting the Environmentalist of the Year awards since 1973. The awards ceremony is a time to celebrate and recognize the past year’s regional champions and community sustainability successes. It is also a time to reflect on the work we still have in front of us in the year ahead.

Your sponsorship is an investment in the ongoing success of ECOS and provides you with significant recognition of your contribution and environmental stewardship. As you may know, ECOS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization comprised of a broad range of organizations and individuals who unite to create a single voice for local environmental concerns. Our mission is to achieve regional and community sustainability and a healthy environment for existing and future residents. ECOS works proactively with our members, member organizations, local government, and community groups to energize and create positive change in the Sacramento region as we work to develop thriving communities.

2018 Awardees

Environmentalist of the Year – Jack Sales

Jack joined International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) in 1993 and started the first California Chapter in 1996. Jack and his wife Beverly have traveled the length of California with an information display which has introduced thousands of individuals to the issue of Light Pollution and impacts of Artificial Light at Night (ALAN). He is being awarded for his focus of the last few years on understanding the impacts of ALAN on predation of juvenile and adult salmon, the numerous talks he has given on the subject and his influence on reducing light pollution from a bridge in Roseville, California.

Environmentalist of the Year – Jennifer Donlon Wyant

Jennifer Donlon Wyant is the Transportation Planning Section Manager for the City of Sacramento. Jennifer manages the transportation planning team as well as a number of programs including the Vision Zero and the Active Transportation programs. She lives in Sacramento and walks and bikes to neighborhood businesses and parks and loves the community and relationship building that can happen by walking and bicycling. Jennifer is being awarded for her work to bring Protected Bike Lanes to Sacramento and on the implementation of the City of Sacramento’s Bicycle Master Plan.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Matthew Baker

Matt Baker began working for Habitat 2020 and the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) in 2008 and currently serves as our Land Use and Conservation Policy Director. He is being awarded for his work with the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), specifically his valuable analysis of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS). Another achievement we want to honor is his work on the California Heartland Project, including cutting-edge work with UC Davis in the mapping and analysis of the region’s natural resources, habitat and ecosystem services.

Community Organizer Award – Dyane Osorio

Dyane is the Director of the Mother Lode Chapter of the Sierra Club. She has held the position since 2016. She co-founded the higher-education non-profit, ‘Dream. Develop. Do.’ in 2009. She has more than 9 years of non-profit sector experience and is passionate about social and environmental justice; she understands that we cannot have one without the other. She is being awarded for her work with DREAMers, promoting activism for immigrants’ rights, skillfully supporting the Sierra Club Mother Lode Chapter groups, fighting for environmental justice, forwarding climate action, and working to increase transportation access for all residents.

Public Servant Award – Assemblymember Kevin McCarty

Assemblymember Kevin McCarty is a member of the California Legislative Black Caucus. Prior to being elected to the Assembly in 2014, he was a Sacramento City Councilmember. Assemblymember McCarty was elected to the California State Assembly in 2014 to represent the 7th Assembly District, which includes Sacramento, West Sacramento and parts of unincorporated Sacramento County. He is being recognized for his long-standing dedication to our local environment throughout his time as an elected official; specifically, for his recent work in establishing the Lower American River Conservancy.

Sponsorship Levels

John Muir Sponsorship – $2,500
Benefits include all those of the Rachel Carson Sponsorship, plus:
– A listing in the event program at the highest level, including your logo (if you have a logo)
– An additional 4 tickets to the event (10 total)
– At least two social media shout-outs in recognition of your contribution

Rachel Carson Sponsorship – $1,000
Benefits include all those of the George Washington Carver Sponsorship, plus:
– A higher-level listing in the event program
– An additional 2 tickets to the event (6 total)

George Washington Carver Sponsorship – $500
Benefits include all those of the Ansel Adams Sponsorship, plus:
– A higher-level listing in the event program
– An additional 2 tickets to the event (4 total)

Ansel Adams Sponsorship – $250
Benefits include:
– Your name, logo and a link to your website (if applicable) on the ECOS website
– A special listing in the event program
– 2 tickets to the event
– Verbal recognition during the awards ceremony
– At least one social media shout-out in recognition of your contribution

How to Sponsor the Environmentalist of the Year Awards

To donate online, just click on the ‘Donate’ button in the left hand margin of this page, on our homepage, or in the menu bar at the top. Please indicate the intent of the check (Environmentalist of the Year award).

If you would prefer to mail a check, please make it out to, and send it to, Environmental Council of Sacramento, P.O. Box 1526, Sacramento, California 95812-1526. Please indicate the intent of the check (for example, “Environmentalist of the Year Awards”).

Since we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, your donation is tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Thank you very much for your consideration and please remember that your generous support makes a significant difference in our day to day operations. Please feel free to contact us with any questions at office [at] ecosacramento [dot] net.

Click here for this letter in PDF format.

Sincerely,

Ralph Propper, President of the Board | ECOS

The Environmental Council of Sacramento

P.O. Box 1526, Sacramento, CA, 95812

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