Dark Sky Week, and Another Dam Removal

1This week was International Dark Sky Week.

Credit: Timothy Boocock
Credit: Timothy Boocock

It’s about preserving the wonders of the night sky, and reducing light pollution.

The glow of uncontrolled outdoor lighting can hide the stars from view, and change the nighttime environment.

International Dark Sky Week aims to draw attention to the problems associated with light pollution, and promote solutions to diminish it.

For instance, you can shield outdoor lighting so it doesn’t spread beyond your property, and angle the lighting downward.

There’s also a program called GLOBE at Night, which allows people to document light pollution in their neighborhood and contribute to a global database of measurements.

Light pollution and exposure to artificial light can harm humans and animals, and waste energy.

Research also has found that increased outdoor lighting doesn’t necessarily reduce crime.

The International Dark-Sky Association has designated 16 Dark Sky Parks around the world.

One of them, called The Headlands, is located in Emmet County west of Mackinaw City.


2A dam blamed for a fish kill will be removed with help from a state grant.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently announced $1 million in grants under a new Aquatic Habitat Grant Program.

The eight projects approved include $272,500 for a Golden Lotus Dam Removal project on the Pigeon River in Otsego County. The work will be managed by Huron Pines, a nonprofit in Gaylord.

According to Huron Pines, the money will go to remove the Song of the Morning dam on the Pigeon River. Dewatering of the impoundment will begin this summer, followed by removal of the structure.

Golden Lotus, the property owner, will contribute  $100,000 as well as in-kind services. A new bridge will be constructed and the river area will be restored.

Currently, the dam impedes fish passage. The dam released sediment into the river in 2008, killing thousands of fish. State agencies reached a settlement earlier this month with Golden Lotus.

– Mr. Great Lakes, as heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.

 

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