Log In

Reset Password

Letter to the editor: Prevent light pollution

To the Editor:

Not long ago, the Pocono Mountains boasted some of the darkest night skies along the Eastern Seaboard, supporting a vast array of nocturnal wildlife including rare and endangered moths, bats, birds, insects and reptiles, and attracting astronomers from around the region. Today, light pollution is catching up with the Poconos.

Penn Forest Township plans to install LED floodlights at the baseball field in the township park along Route 903. Lighted sports fields are among the largest producers of light pollution in our communities. Scientists widely agree that light pollution adversely affects the behavior and health of nocturnal species. Most birds migrate at night, using the moon and stars to aid them in navigation. Light pollution from artificial light sources can disorient migrating birds, making them deviate from their migration routes, causing many to drop from exhaustion before reaching their destinations. Recent data collected by weather radar technology that can track large flocks of birds as they migrate indicated a 14 percent decrease in nocturnal spring-migrating birds in the last decade alone. Light pollution is thought to be a factor in the decline. (North America Has Lost More Than 1 in 4 Birds in Last 50 Years, New Study Says - Audubon)

Penn Forest Township Park adjoins hundreds of acres of forested land situated along the Atlantic Flyway, the major north-south route for migratory birds in North America. The township’s plan to install floodlights in this area so people can play baseball at night shows a poor understanding of our region’s ecology and the township’s responsibility to protect this resource.

Juliet Perrin

Penn Forest Township