NPS - National Park Service

06/30/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/30/2020 15:14

Cape Lookout National Seashore Announces Partnership in Pursuit of International Dark Sky Designation

June 30, 2020
Contact:BG Horvat, 252-838-8906

HARKERS ISLAND, NC - - Carteret County Chamber of Commerce and the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center are partnering with Cape Lookout National Seashore and the Crystal Coast Stargazers in their initiative of seeking designation as an International Dark Sky Park.

As partners in this initiative, the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce will promote and publicize the national seashore's application and objectives amongst its member organizations. Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center will be a part of planned tourism activities and will include outreach presentations on promoting the preservation of night skies during Museum events. The Crystal Coast Stargazers (the local astronomy club) has been a partner with Cape Lookout National Seashore since the beginning of the application process.

'The Chamber of Commerce is very excited to be a partner in bringing astronomy-based tourism opportunities to our county', says Tom Kies, President of the Carteret Chamber of Commerce, 'It's another great reason to visit the Crystal Coast.'

'We look forward to partnering with the Crystal Coast Stargazers with our education programming in the future', explains Karen Amspacher, Executive Director of the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum, 'Core Sound Waterfowl Museum is totally committed to preserving our cultural and natural resources, even our skies! For us, this will be an opportunity to increase our understanding and appreciation for the beautiful night skies that we often take for granted.'

'If you live on the East Coast, there is no place like Cape Lookout National Seashore to experience viewing our amazing nighttime skies - the stars and planets are so vivid', Jeff West, Superintendent of Cape Lookout National Seashore adds, 'These partnerships exist so everyone has the opportunity to know about, and see this amazing resource.'

In January 2020, the park began work on the application for submission to the International Dark Sky Association by January 2021. International Dark Sky Park certification promotes public education and astronomy-based recreation in parks, while improving energy efficiency and reduced operational costs through outdoor lighting upgrades that create economic opportunities for neighboring communities through astronomy-based tourism.