Nothing can beat the magic of the Nantucket sky on a clear night. Thirty miles at sea, far from the glow of major cities, the island can feel at times like an ocean liner, alone beneath a canopy of stars. It’s a view to stir the soul. But that velvety blackness, and the celestial bodies it reveals, could be lost to us.
Satellite data shows that light pollution on Nantucket has increased 2.4% each year since 2012, and it's likely even worse than that because satellites are essentially blind to the blue light emitted by LEDs. If we don't do something now, future generations may no longer be able to see the Milky Way, shooting stars, and the constellations.
And that's not the only thing at stake. Bright lights on neighboring properties have become a serious quality-of-life issue for many, interfering with their sleep and enjoyment of their own property. In addition, excessive artificial light at night is harmful to plants, pollinating insects, birds, and other wildlife; is eroding the island’s historic character; and is a waste of energy. There’s even some evidence that artificial light could be harmful to human health.
Nantucket Lights (https://nantucketlights.org), a citizen advocacy group founded in 2021, aims to do something about that. With a diverse steering committee that includes year-round as well as seasonal residents, its mission is to preserve and protect Nantucket’s nighttime environment and heritage of dark skies by raising awareness about light pollution on the island and advocating for environmentally responsible outdoor lighting. Ultimately, it hopes Nantucket will be able to meet the requirements to be designated an “International Dark Sky Community” by DarkSky International (formerly known as the International Dark Sky Association).
We hope you'll help us by making a donation as well as using the "Share" button to let others know about our campaign.
Donations will help pay for our operational expenses, policy advocacy, educational materials, bumper stickers, public service announcements, community dark-sky events, consultations with outdoor lighting experts, and sky quality meters to track the evolution of light pollution on the island, among other things.
Every donation -- no matter how large or small -- will be greatly appreciated!
Please note that your donation via GoFundMe WILL NOT BE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Nantucket Lights is a nonprofit corporation but it has 501(c)(4) status -- rather than 501(c)(3) status -- to allow it to advocate for the adoption of legislation and local ordinances and policies that will help preserve Nantucket's dark skies. Donations to 501(c)(4) organizations are not tax deductible under IRS rules and regulations.
TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS can be made to the DARK SKY COMMUNITY FUND established and managed by the Community Foundation of Nantucket to support our educational and charitable initiatives. To learn more, click here.
Photo courtesy of Bill Hoenk, http://www.billhoenkphotography.com.