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Boulder City receives grant to protect dark skies

Boulder City’s sky is about to get darker.

Boulder City and the Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation plan to retrofit every city light with energy-efficient fixtures that will reduce light-pollution. The project will begin in 2023 and work toward the city’s goal of receiving Dark Skies Community Certification.

The light fixture replacement, which will be funded by a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Authority, will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower the city’s energy costs and protect wildlife from light pollution impacts, the city said in a news release.

The fixtures will include dimmers and timers to help reduce the amount of energy used, along with light shields to reduce the amount of light sent into the sky.

Boulder City’s plan follows the signing of Senate Bill 52, also known as the Dark Skies Bill, in May 2021 that established municipalities’ ability to participate in the “Dark Sky Designation” program. The goal of the bill was to make Nevada a leader in dark sky tourism as dark skies vanish across the world, according to a news release from Gov. Steve Sisolak.

Maine, New Hampshire and New Mexico also have laws that promote preserving dark skies.

Two dark sky sanctuaries exist in Nevada out of 14 in the world: Great Basin National Park and Massacre Rim Wilderness Area in northwest Nevada, according to an Associated Press report.

Colin Robertson, administrator of the Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation, said in a news release that retrofitting the city’s lighting will help with “providing stellar opportunities for families and visitors to enjoy Boulder City under the stars,”

“Preserving a place’s special qualities like Boulder City’s starry night skies, helps ensure these important natural resources can be enjoyed and protected for generations to come.”

Contact Taylor Lane at tlane@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tmflane on Twitter.

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