DarkSky West Marin is a community-led initiative dedicated to preserving the night sky in this environmentally rich and uniquely biodiverse region, and formed by West Marin citizens, County Supervisor Dennis Rodoni, & the Point Reyes Station Village Association in collaboration with the Point Reyes National Seashore.(Map is a suggested draft)
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DarkSky West Marin needs your support
Everywhere we go, miracles happen. We’ve had so much overwhelming support that it makes my heart sing. But DarkSky West Marin is facing its first challenge and needs your help. In May this year, the Point Reyes National Seashore followed a DarkSky International recommendation to file a separate application from our DarkSky West Marin villages. We were excited to move forward after this change, believing our simplified application process would expedite our application. We went right to work, addressing the remaining requirements: a lighting ordinance, outreach to other coastal villages, forming teams for a wintertime, citizen-science lighting inventory, and conducting a West Marin streetlight study with a cost/benefit analysis for retrofitting 133 streetlights in our DarkSky zone.
We learned at the meeting that Marin, the richest county in the U.S., cannot afford a lighting ordinance similar to the ones passed in 25 other American counties. It was not placed into this year’s county budget–we need it to be on the next.
The five members of the Board of Supervisors set priorities for Marin, and the final decision about whether to budget for DarkSky West Marin in 2024-25 is up to them. We hope you can help by writing or calling them. One email address, [email protected] goes to each of the supervisors. If you prefer to make phone calls or mail letters, see the list below. Offer the reason(s) that preserving this easily conservable natural resource is important to you.
Some examples are
- the benefit to migrating birds, rare mammals, fish, insects, and reptiles endemic to this unique, biodiverse hotspot
- preservation of our view of the Milky Way and the experience of awe that it inspires
- prevention of commercial or residential light trespass
- an example of your own
We also need financial help. The Point Reyes Station Village Association has supported our work, but we’ll need more funding to ensure everyone in our DarkSky Zone knows about this project. We’ll need funding to maintain our website and membership list, to produce educational events, to access light measuring equipment, and to conduct a local mailing campaign. Your donation is much appreciated.
“I do think this is one of the most significant environmental problems of our time that almost nobody knows about,” – John Barentine, PhD, F.R.A.S., DarkSky Consulting, LLC.
Peggy, Laura, and Don
Board of Supervisors, 3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 329, San Rafael, CA 94903, Phone: (415) 473-7331, Fax: (415) 473-3645
Sky Preservation Work
Each month, in concert with the Point Reyes National Seashore, DarkSky West Marin, and the Point Reyes Station Village Association, a benefit stargazing event is presented just before each new moon. The event supports the preservation of the coastal nightscape. Sky preservation work includes efforts for all of West Marin to:
- help property/business owners or managers lessen light pollution and trespass
- qualify this area as a DarkSky International Place
- update Marin County Lighting regulations
Monthly Stargazing Events
Join astronomy teacher and storyteller extraordinaire Don Jolley just before each new moon to learn the names of planets, stars, and constellations and listen to spellbinding stories about billions and billions of celestial bodies. Keep an eye on the right side of this page for announcements about the upcoming stargazings, and Don’s weather reports. Mark your calendar!