10 Tips for Boating Safety

Canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards were responsible for 23% of all boating casualties in 2015, up from 17% in 2012 according to the latest U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics.

The ACA partnered with Anzovin Studio to create this fun video paddling.net/guidelines/showArticle  aimed at empowering paddlers to take responsibility for their safety on the water!

Enjoy Central Oregon Rivers Safely this Summer!

What’s Up With The Red Lights?

You may notice that all of the utility hook-up stations throughout the Crooked River Campground at Cove Palisades State Park are all now red lights rather than the traditional white lights.


During the summer of 2015 a study was undertaken at the campground where 10 campsites’ utility stations were changed to red lights for illumination. Each evening the campers at these 10 campsites were asked their opinion of the change to red lighting. After they responded, they were told that the red lighting offered several advantages over the white lights.

The reasoning included:
• Most animals cannot see the red spectrum of light thereby making the campground look completely dark and more natural to the animals
• Red lights offer the same levels of illumination as white lights while allowing us humans to better adapt to the nighttime
• Red lights are not as intrusive to tent and tent trailer campers

The results of the study were more positive than anticipated. There were no negative comments and several people asked why red lights weren’t being installed at all Oregon State Parks.  As an additional benefit, placing a red film over the existing white lights cost less than $0.50 per campsite.

So… enjoy the new lighting at Cove Palisades’ Crooked River campground. It is beneficial to the wildlife while being less intrusive to us humans.

Thank you to Park Host Scott Spence for spearheading this project!

Light Pollution Hurts Us All

What Is Light Pollution?

Light Pollution is the illumination of the night skies by mankind. We are all responsible for the causes of Light Pollution yet very few of us understand the cause and consequences of Light Pollution.

Simply put, Light Pollution is caused by manmade light sources point up or reflecting upwards.

Although picturesque, cityscapes of all sizes create Light Pollution


Highway billboards shine light upwards, wasting as much as 85% of the energy consumed

Light Pollution wastes energy, disrupts wildlife and whites out our naturally dark skies. Light pollution is a new term to most people

How Does Light Pollution Hurt Us?

Nocturnal animals that come out and make nighttime their “daytime” suffer the most. Deer fall prey to their natural predators more easily. Mice and other nocturnal rodents are easier for owls to see. Hatchling sea turtles use the moon to guide them to the safety of the ocean but bright city lights lure them away from the ocean.

Recent studies have found a link between breast cancer and bedrooms illuminated by Light Pollution.

Fewer than 2 in 5 children born today will ever see the Milky Way in their lifetimes. Less than ½ of the population of North America, Japan, Europe, India and other populated locations can see the Milky Way from their backyards.

night sky
Night skies are naturally beautiful

Light Pollution in the United States at night from the ISS


Look At Your Home

Check your home at night. Do you have light sources pointing up or horizontally? Do you really need 60 watts of light when 20 watts will work? Are your exterior lights under eaves?

Bad and good light sources

Get together with your neighbors and evaluate all of the light sources in your neighborhood.

Look At Your City

Take a look at your community. Are flag poles illuminated from the ground rather than from the top? Are billboards illuminated from the top rather than from the bottom? Does your community have lighting ordinances that reduce or eliminate certain Light Pollution sources? Consider going to a city council meeting and suggesting changes to ordinances if necessary.

As an example, Flagstaff, Arizona has had strict lighting ordinances since the early 1960’s. Any clear night of the week a person can stand in the middle of highway 66, downtown Flagstaff and see the milky way. The Flagstaff police department reports a lower crime rate than many comparable sized cities.

Become an advocate for your community. Ask business owners who contribute to Light Pollution to make changes to their exterior lighting to become more dark sky friendly. Investigate the subject of Light Pollution and offer to make presentations on the subject to middle and high school students.
Additional Resources


International Dark-Sky Association

The Ottawa Centre’s Light Pollution Abatement Program http://ottawa-asc.ca/articles/dick_robert/lpap/lpab.html

The Journal Of The Royal Astronomical Society Of Canada

Neighbor-Friendly Lighting

Lowes Home Improvement Centers

Urban Lighting, Light Pollution and Society

Light Nuisances – Ambient Light, Light Pollution, Glare

How Does Outdoor Lighting Cause Light Pollution?

Dark Sky Society


Every once in a while, a great program, turns out something even more amazing…

The last week of April is STEM week in Oregon.  Culver Middle School hosted their annual “STEMFEST” which showcased the student’s STEM accomplishments for the year. Not knowing what to expect, I was amazed when I walked into a classroom that had been transformed into a tiny portion of The Cove Palisades State Park. Students had recreated the ponds that they’ve been restoring to give students, staff and special guests, a glimpse into restoring a fire ravaged wetlands.

(They had painted murals of the cliffs and even had real sagebrush and juniper in the room so it smelled like the park.) They displayed the showy milkweed that they’ve been propagating in class; as well as some butterfly larvae that they are caring for.

milkweed garden.jpg

This student lead event engaged elementary and high school students to make a topographical map of The Cove in a sand box which had a projected image of the wetlands on it. They handed out milkweed seeds to students so that they could plant them at home. Mrs. Naomi Little and Mr. Mark Habliston said, “This is a collaborate effort of the students as well as the teachers.”