Friday, September 25, 2020

Big Cypress as Dark Sky Place

 

 

The National Park Service is pleased to announce that Big Cypress National Preserve has been designated an International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) International Dark Sky Place. With the extent of urbanization in the eastern United States it is becoming nearly impossible to experience the night with little impact from artificial light pollution. Here in south Florida, away from the urban development of the east and west coasts, Big Cypress National Preserve has one of the last protected night skies where visitors can still enjoy the splendor of the Milky Way and see a night-sky strewn with thousands of stars with only the naked eye.

With this designation Big Cypress National Preserve now becomes the the 1st National Park Service (NPS) Unit east of Colorado to earn this designation and the 16th NPS site in the country to do so. The national preserve joins Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park in Central Florida, which was designated earlier in 2016, as the first International Dark Sky Place in Florida.

The IDA’s International Dark Sky Places Program began in 2001 to encourage communities around the world to preserve and protect dark sites through responsible lighting policies and public education. Big Cypress National Preserve will work with local astronomical societies and nearby communities to develop outdoor lighting guidelines to further minimize light pollution across South Florida ensuring the preservation of this special resource for all to enjoy.

For more about the International Dark-Sky Association visit http://darksky.org.

More about Big Cypress National Preserve is at – www.nps.gov/bicy.

Find more information on the National Park Service’s night sky efforts at – www.nps.gov/subjects/nightskies/index.htm.

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