Lights Out, Take 2

On the last day of the Dark Sky Week, which serves as a way to educate people about light pollution and celebrate the natural wonders of the night sky, we thought it fitting to make a second attempt at getting the Mayor, the County Executive and the Governor on board with implementing the Lights Out program.

‘Lights Out’ is Audubon’s national program encouraging cities to shut off non essential lights in buildings during the bird migration each Spring & Fall. New York government buildings joined in the effort last Spring.  We wrote Mayor Ed Murray a letter (again) to see if we can get Seattle participating. If you want to see Seattle turn out non essential lights for the birds please  drop the Mayor or your County Executive a note. Or consider challenging Governor Inslee to implement this program statewide.

An Open Letter to Seattle’s Mayor

(We also sent a letter to King County Executive Dow Constantine and Governor Jay Inslee)

Mayor Edward B. Murray
City of Seattle
PO Box 94749
Seattle, WA  98124-4749

Seattle Nature Alliance
Seattle WA 98126

April 10, 2016

Regarding: WA State Legislature Effort to Reduce Light Pollution (HOUSE BILL 2057) / Audubon National Lights Out program

Dear Mayor Murray,

With the recent interest by WA State Representatives on the Environmental Committee to study the public health impacts of light pollution, we thought it would be prudent to again alert you to the Audubon ‘Lights Out’ program, a national effort encouraging businesses and organizations in cities across the United States to turn off unessential lights in tall buildings during periods of bird migration in an effort to save energy and decrease bird deaths which occur when birds, looking to the stars to navigate, are disoriented by the bright lights of the city.

As citizens of Seattle, we have come to expect our city to be a leader in supporting and sustaining our precious resources so that nature will continue to flourish for future generations.  We were shocked to find that Seattle is not on the list of participating cities (which includes Boston, Washington DC, Denver, San Francisco and Portland to name a few). Last year, governor Andrew Cuomo (NY), announced New York State owned and managed buildings would be participating in the ‘Lights Out’ program.  It seems to us if the Empire State can participate, the Emerald City certainly can too.

We would encourage you to get Seattle on the ‘Lights Out’ program so that Seattle too can help save energy, help birds navigate on their annual journey and help mitigate the adverse effects on non-essential lighting, and so our city continues to be a leader in helping preserve the natural world.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Mark Ahlness
Denise Dahn
Rebecca Watson

Seattle Nature Alliance |

It is our mission at the Seattle Nature Alliance to preserve urban natural areas for wildlife habitat, passive use, and scenic beauty.

hermit warbler
Hermit Warbler, June 2015, in the Capitol Forest, a few miles west of Olympia, WA. It winters from Central America to Panama. (Photo credit: Mark Ahlness)

Related Links

Audubon Lights Out program
Washington House Democrats Begin Examining Light Pollution
Dark Sky Association

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