Your Help Needed to Advance Portland’s Light Pollution Policies

Our thoughts are with you in these uniquely challenging times. The triple challenge of a pandemic, unprecedented fires, and racial reckoning tell us that we must create landscapes that are more healthy, equitable and sustainable for people and for wildlife.

This Thursday, Portland City Council will adopt a Dark Skies Report that focuses on what the City can do to address light pollution. Many of you were instrumental in advocating for the City to take on this growing threat to both human and environmental health and Bird Alliance of Oregon has worked hand-in-hand with the City to develop this report. The report makes many strong recommendations for how the City can reduce light pollution in order to save energy, reduce negative human health impacts, protect wildlife and restore the ability of urban residents to see the night sky. Today our community is engulfed in smoke, but when that smoke clears it should not be replaced by the haze of unnecessary, wasteful and hazardous light pollution. The City now has a roadmap to addressing this issue. Lights are absolutely necessary for safety and circulation, but so much of our lighting is unshielded, creates light trespass and glare, and is inefficient—we can and should do much better.

We need your help to make sure that the City continues to move forward in terms of advancing the recommendations in this report. Simply adopting the report and allowing it to collect dust on a shelf will accomplish nothing.

Take Action

Using the key points below, write to City Council and urge them to advance the recommendations from the report:

Email the City Council Members:

Light pollution in Portland, photo by Thomas Hawk

Key Talking Points

Please write City Council today and tell them:

  • You are concerned about the proliferation of light pollution in our community and the negative impacts it has on human health, wildlife health, energy conservation and our ability to see the night sky.
  • You support adoption of the Dark Skies Report, appreciate the work that has gone into this effort and support its adoption.
  • Most importantly, please ask Council to follow through on the report’s recommendations and allocate funds within 1-2 years to develop code language to reduce unnecessary, wasteful and unhealthy light pollution. The work done to date will only be meaningful if Council follows through and implements the recommendations.