Point Reyes seeks 'dark sky' recognition for its starry nights

Point Reyes is already known as one of the Bay Area's natural highlights. Now the community wants to be recognized for its low light.

The Marin County community wants to become the first in California and only second in the U.S. that's known as a "Dark Sky Reserve" due to its lack of light pollution. 

The status is reserved for areas where stars are visible that are blocked nearly everywhere else due to bright lights at night, according to Mercury News.

The only other spot in the U.S. with the status is in Idaho. 

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On any given night, and depending on the earth's rotation, you can see between 2,000-6,000 stars in the Point Reyes skies.

The application process to protect the celestial viewing is rigorous and can take as long as 30 years. The community would have to strategically change most outdoor lighting and limit future developments to keep the sky dark.

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For decades, population growth and development have crept closer to the rugged landscape of Point Reyes, bringing more glare and glow. Light pollution has accelerated in recent years with the widespread adoption of powerful LED lights. 

Night skies don't get the same protection offered to land, water and air, and the residents of this Marin County pocket want that to change.