Monday, October 6, 2008

Lights Out Boston: Energy and Birds

Boston recently joined several other cities in North America in an ambitious effort to reduce energy and avian mortality by turning off skyscraper lights at almost three dozen large downtown buildings during migration.

Toronto originally took the lead with their Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP), and other cities, such as Chicago, have gradually followed suit.

Starting early last month, Boston started having some of its tallest office buildings shut off their lights from 11pm to 5am through the end of this month. The two-month effort is intended to set an example as to how to reduce carbon emissions associated with production of electricity, while at the same time helping to save migratory birds from striking the buildings at night as a result of disorientation created by bright lights and reflective glass at tall buildings.

Boston's Mayor, Thomas Menino, some of the city's largest property owners, and Mass Audubon representatives unveiled the Lights Out Boston effort last month, and a number of other cities are carefully watching the results of Boston's efforts to save energy and reduce avian mortality.

Bird advocates are actively promoting these joint conservation efforts and have increasingly been pushing the concept of "air space as habitat."

No comments: