12X18 Poster of the Night Sky at Big Cypress National Preserve.
Big Cypress National Preserve has a resource that many take for granted or may not even be aware of – our natural “darkness.” Even with widespread development on the east and west coasts of Florida, the Preserve remains one of the darkest areas east of the Mississippi River. In the heart of the swamp it’s still possible to view the Milky Way, something that many who have only been in urban or suburban settings have never seen.
The quality (relative darkness) of the night sky has come under siege throughout the United States and the world. The widespread and rapid rate of development and the associated installation of lights without thought to the impact those lights have on the night sky is illuminating the darkness worldwide. Lighting associated with advertising, grounds security, and building and street illumination all contribute to what is referred to as “light pollution.”
In addition to interfering with our ability to see celestial bodies and astronomical events, light pollution has a detrimental environmental impact. Some bird species depend on stars for navigation. Light pollution interferes with their travels.