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Contact: Carl S. Zimmerman, 410-629-6071
Berlin, Maryland - Superintendent Trish Kicklighter today announced the installation of several new solar powered lighting applications at Assateague Island National Seashore. The new lighting is part of an ongoing effort by the National Park Service to reduce the Seashore's carbon footprint and demonstrate the utility of alternative energy sources.
The most visible of these new improvements is in the parking lot of the new Assateague Island Visitor Center where five solar powered overhead lights illuminate the parking lot. The highly efficient LED lights are powered by batteries which, in turn, are recharged by solar panels. "The lights can operate at varying intensities," according to Kicklighter, "a feature that allows us to adjust the level of lighting to the actual need rather than maintaining a constant brightness all night long."
In another recent improvement, all of the Seashore's campground and picnic area restrooms have been fitted with solar powered lights to provide interior illumination. Running electrical lines to each of the restrooms just wasn't realistic," said Kicklighter, "so the use of photovoltaic lights was a perfect solution."
All of the new lighting systems have been designed to prevent light pollution and help protect Assateague's naturally dark night skies. "We're fortunate that much of the Seashore is well removed from major sources of unnatural night lighting. As a result, there's no better place to enjoy stargazing", said Kicklighter.
In addition to the new lighting, the Seashore will soon add two solar panel arrays in the North Beach Day Use Area parking lot. The panels will generate more than 22 kilowatts of electricity for the 'Beach Hut' convenience store, and the new campground office and ranger station, scheduled to open in September.
For more information on Assateague Island National Seashore, visit www.nps.gov/asis