Natural darkness, according to a survey, is becoming increasingly rare to find and, as reported by a survey from the University of Vermont, is a resource that should be paid more attention to.
A survey performed by Robert Manning from the University of Vermont and published in Park Science found that almost 90 percent of visitors to the Acadia National Park in Maine recognized that the dark night skies that you see, which are not polluted by any light sources, are a resource that needs special attention.
In the published article from Park Science, the annual celebration held in the park, Night Skies Festival, is a community celebration to educate and protect the night sky while also enjoying Acadia’s stellar night sky through art, science, and education.
The article states, “By 2000, it was estimated that 99% of the world’s skies were light polluted and that two-thirds of Americans could no longer see the Milky Way from their homes (Cinzano et al. 2001).”
Even though this problem is widespread and is seen as a large problem there is hope.
Through working with the surrounding communities as well as visitors to the national park to reduce the amount of internal light produced from flashlights and headlights from cars.
“Though light pollution may have already had irreversible biological and ecological impacts, it can be controlled and even reduced.” Manning said. “The national parks, with their emphasis on protection of natural and cultural resources and the quality of visitor experiences are a good place to advance this cause.”
With the survey, visitors were able to rate their experience before they went to sleep and their ideal view of the night sky. Each visitor was given a photo of the night sky from inside of Acadia with varying levels of light pollution and asked to state which they would find acceptable.