Southampton Turns Off the Lights for Dark Sky Week

Last week's full moon setting over Southampton town at dawn.
Last week’s full moon setting over Southampton town at dawn.

International Dark Sky Week began yesterday, and Southampton Town is getting into the spirit by turning off most outdoor lighting at Town Hall at night through April 26.

The town, which adopted a resolution honoring International Dark Sky week on April 10, is encouraging residents, businesses and visitors to join the observance and enjoy stargazing on the clear nights expected this week.

All of the towns on the East End now have a dark skies law that requires residents and businesses to phase in the use of downward facing lighting, known as “full cut-off” light fixtures, after Shelter Island joined the fray last year. Southampton adopted its dark skies law in 2009.

Group for the East End applauded Southampton’s decision to honor International Dark Sky Week in a press release issued Monday.

“The Town Board recognized the environmental importance of reducing light pollution, which can have a damaging effect on local plant and animal species that rely on a night cycle,” said Jenn Hartnagel, GFEE’s senior environmental advocate.

“Everything that is done to preserve our view of the starry night sky also helps to reduce the many ecological impacts of light pollution, said the town’s dark skies committee chair Gail Clyma.

Southampton has more information about its dark skies code online here.

With the moon dwindling to a mere sliver by the end of the week, this Saturday night may prove an ideal time to head out stargazing at Custer Institute in Southold, the oldest public observatory on Long Island.
 

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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