Dark Skies certification

Dark Sky: 

As per the City’s Sustainability Action Plan Green Achievement Target #13, Satellite Beach is seeking Photo_USA_Light_Pollution_Satellite_Imageto reduce its levels of light pollution by achieving a provisional Dark Sky certification at its municipal facilities. Excessive amounts of artificial light at night is considered to be a pollutant and can have serious environmental effects for both humans and wildlife according to the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). Some of these effects include a disruption of one's Scythian rhythm, wasted energy cost, and the disorientation of animals such as sea turtles. Another prominent effect is losing the ability to see natural starlight.

According to the IDA, there are several types of light pollution, all stemming from a City’s built environment. Types of light pollution include:

  • Glare – excessive brightness that causes visual discomfort

  • Skyglow – brightening of the night sky over inhabited areas

  • Light trespass – light falling where it is not intended or needed

  • Clutter – bright, confusing and excessive groupings of light sources

Photo_Light_Pollution_DiagramIn order to combat light pollution, Satellite Beach is actively researching and surveying municipal facilities that could achieve Dark Sky certification, a certification from the IDA that communicates an area of the built environment has reduced or eliminated its light pollution. Currently, the area of the City where this could occur first is High Tower Park. As of 2018, there are over a hundred sites around the world that have earned this unique form of environmental certification.

For more information on lighting that is considered to be Dark Sky friendly, please use this link here. As a home or business owner, make sure you use lighting that is pointed down towards the ground and has shielding to direct your fixtures beam. It is also best to use what is considered “warm” lighting, lighting that uses non-blue emitting light. The colors red and orange are most beneficial to use.

During sea turtle season, controlling your exterior and interior lighting is extremely important. From May 1 to October 31, all indoor and outdoor lights visible from the beach must be shielded, repositioned, replaced or turned off from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am. Lighting on the beach in the form of flashlights, cell phones, camera flashes, lamps, or any other kind of artificial lighting is strictly prohibited. Violations face up to $500 in fines or even jail time.