Lightscape / Night Sky

Hundreds of white dots against a black background with two thick irregularly-shaped white lines running vertically just left of center.
The Milky Way.

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.

California's first Dark Sky Reserve?

In 2021, Point Reyes National Seashore—collaborating with the Point Reyes Station Village Association, Marin County Supervisor Dennis Rodoni, and the communities surrounding the park—began the effort to become an International Dark Sky Reserve. Learn more at Dark Sky Point Reyes.


Learn more about the night sky at national parks.

Park Science

Adobe® Acrobat Reader® may be needed to view PDF documents.

Top of Page

 

Learn More about the Importance of Dark Night Skies

Loading results...

    Last updated: August 19, 2022

    Park footer

    Contact Info

    Mailing Address:

    1 Bear Valley Road
    Point Reyes Station , CA 94956

    Phone:

    415-464-5100
    This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; fire danger information; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

    Contact Us

    Stay Connected