• The Point Reyes Beach as viewed from the Point Reyes Headlands

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

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  • Bear Valley Visitor Center Lighting Retrofit:

    Due to safety concerns during the installation of new LED lights, sections of the Bear Valley Visitor Center's exhibit area may be closed through the end of July. More »

  • The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center will be closed on Saturday, July 26.

    We are sorry for any inconvenience, but the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center at Drakes Beach will be closed on Saturday, July 26. It will open at 10 am on Sunday, July 27.

Lightscape / Night Sky

Nature and Science

Lightscape and the night sky over the Point Reyes peninsula

Pollution of dark night skies with artificial light is a problem in much of the world. We have only begun to explore its ecological effects, such as impacts on migrating birds, turtles, and other species, as well as possible impacts on predator processes and plant dynamics whose phenology depends on day length.

National parks represent some of the last opportunities to protect nighttime darkness. We can often identify specific sources of light pollution outside of park boundaries, and work with our neighbors to modify them. We also need to identify sources of light pollution generated by the National Park Service within parks and take steps to ensure that our lighting systems in parking lots, maintenance yards, and other facilities are properly designed.

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Did You Know?

Fog-filled valley with yellow twilight glow over a ridge in the background. © John B. Weller.

The rich, lush environment of Point Reyes heavily depends on the fog. During rainless summers, fog can account for 1/3 of the ecosystem's water input. But recent studies have indicated that there has been about a 30 percent reduction in fog during the last 100 years here in coastal California. More...