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RASC Designates Canada's Fundy National Park as a Dark-sky Preserve

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Written by National Office, Toronto on
Post Date: 
Fri, 2011/11/04

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) officially designated Fundy National Park of Canada in New Brunswick as a new RASC Dark-sky Preserve through its National Certification Program on October 29, 2011. Fundy is the 14th Dark-sky Preserve in Canada to be designated by the Society.

Together with the RASC, Parks Canada Agency recognizes that natural darkness is an ecological resource in need of protection and both organizations are committed to lighting practices that preserve the beauty and wonder of the dark sky and night environment for all Canadians to enjoy.

Through this recognition, Fundy National Park is committed to protecting the night environment from the impact of artificial lighting. The Park is supported by the RASC New Brunswick Centre to assist it in the development of nighttime programs to take advantage of the dark night sky and its contributions to Canadian culture.

For twelve years the RASC’s Dark-sky Preserve (DSP) Program has been increasing public awareness of the beauty of the night sky and the negative environmental impact of artificial light at night. DSP’s are areas with exceptionally dark skies accessible to the general public. The lighting protocol for DSP’s restricts the illumination level and its extent, duration and colour to minimize its impact on the appearance of the night sky and the behaviour of wildlife. The DSP status will preserve the natural state of the region for the health and vitality of flora and fauna and for the enjoyment of the public.

The lighting protocol is based on wildlife and human research into the biological need for dark nights (scotobiology). The RASC Dark-sky Preserve Program is recognized by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an independent organization that advises UNESCO and national governments on environmental protection issues.

The DSP Program has three objectives: to limit adverse effects of lighting within the Park, provide a guide for suitable lighting used within the Park, and promotes lighting policies that may be applied to urban areas beyond the Park boundaries. The latter will protect the DSP from future deterioration by surrounding light pollution.

Founded in 1868, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is Canada's leading astronomy organization bringing together more than 4,000 enthusiastic amateurs, educators and professionals. RASC and its 29 Centres across Canada offer both national and local programming and services. RASC is dedicated to the Advancement of Astronomy and Allied Sciences and stimulating and inspiring interest to promote and increase knowledge in astronomy and related sciences in Canada.

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For more information please contact: Curt Nason, New Brunswick Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada at 506-648-9063or email nasonc@nbnet.nb.ca. Additional Contacts: Fundy National Park Anne Bardou, Anne.Bardou@pc.gc.ca Phone: 506-636-4204       Fax: 506-636-457www.pc.gc.ca/fra/pn-np/nb/fundy.aspx RASC Dark-sky Preserve Program Robert Dick, Program Chair, rdick@robertdick.ca Phone:  800-278-2032       www.rasc.ca/lpa Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Deborah Thompson, Executive Director, thompson@rasc.ca Phone: 888-924-2911       Fax: 416-924-2911 www.rasc.ca Scotobiology Robert Dick, rdick@robertdick.ca 800-278-2032       www.robertdick.ca/SCOTOBIOLOGY.HTM International Union for the Conservation of Nature David Welch, Ph.D, Chair, Dark Skies Advisory Group welch.ottawa@gmail.com