In response to a request from the Carpinteria Valley Association (CVA), the Carpinteria City Council has issued a proclamation recognizing the week of April 15-22 as International Dark Sky Week in the city.

“The purpose of this annual international event is to raise awareness of light pollution and provide solutions to the public to encourage the protection of and enjoyment of dark skies and responsible outdoor lighting,” said Mike Wondolowski, CVA president.

The city’s action affirms its recognition of the value of dark skies, to allow people to experience the joy of seeing the Milky Way and the constellations, and for the health of wildlife.

Dark skies are impacted by light pollution, mostly caused by upward-pointed lighting and resulting in a waste of natural resources amounting to at least $3.3 billion and the release of 21 million tons of carbon dioxide per year in the United States, Wondolowski reports.

“What is great is this is one of the rare forms of pollution that is completely reversible immediately; as soon as the light is turned off or pointed down, the pollution is gone, helping maintain the character of our small beach town,” Wondolowski said.

The proclamation also “urges all residents to learn about night sky-friendly lighting, implement practices and improvements that will reduce light pollution, and look up and experience the wonder of the star-filled night.”

This year’s International Dark Sky Week marks 20 years since the first event in 2003 created by a high school student in Virginia, and subsequently endorsed by the International Dark-Sky Association, the American Astronomical Society, the Astronomical League, and Sky & Telescope magazine.

The CVA was founded in 1964 with a mission to preserve and enhance the rural beauty of the Carpinteria Valley, especially its open field agriculture, and to maintain the charm of Carpinteria and Summerland as small beach towns.

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