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Press Release

Release Date: April 2008

The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) has established a new IDA New York State Section and a web site (www.nyida.org), in order to provide educational information to NY IDA members and the public about “light pollution”, defined as misdirected, unshielded, excessive, or unnecessary night lighting.

The new NY IDA Section will actively collaborate with many New York State civic, government, environment, and education groups which are concerned with the issue of light pollution. Through education and regulations, light pollution can be reduced, enhancing public safety without sacrifice. Over 200 members of the IDA are located in New York State, a number that is expected to grow with the inauguration of the site and an outreach program to enlist new individual and organizational memberships.

“The New York Section is an important addition to the region’s efforts to control light pollution” — Leo Smith, IDA Northeast Coordinator.

The Section Leader is Susan Harder, a ten year dark sky advocate and winner of IDA Executive Director Dark Sky Awards for her successful efforts to enact outdoor lighting regulations in New York, as well as helping to establish New York’s first Dark Sky Park (Montauk, Long Island).

“I’ve seen many changes in outdoor lighting practices in our state, all of which have been well received by residents, businesses, and from the lighting manufacturers who have partnered in the effort. There is much to be done and we have the resources and commitment by our volunteer members to accomplish our mutual goals. Energy conservation and the wise use of our natural resources drive this issue, along with evidence of the impact of night lighting on human health, flora, and fauna. Someday, there will no longer be conditions of light pollution: excessive, unnecessary, and misdirected night lighting will be a thing of the past.”

From his rooftop in the Bronx, the stars which inspired Neil DeGrasse Tyson, NY’s Director of the Hayden Planetarium to become an astrophysicist, will again be seen when we light the ground instead of the sky.

Dava Sobel, author and Lifetime IDA Member: “The blight our urban sky glow stops children from wishing on stars and lovers from counting them. Light pollution severs our human connection to the beautiful celestial creatures of the night.”

The web site provides resources and links to help New Yorkers educate their communities about how to address light pollution, including a link to the IDA Affiliate organization, SELENE (Sensible and Efficient Lighting to Enhance the Nighttime Environment), www.selene-ny.org

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