The provinces of Friesland and Groningen are planning to push back against creeping light pollution in the sparsely populated Wadden region along the coasts and on the islands.
Translation by Traci White
On Monday morning, the Ministry of Economic Affairs announced comprehensive plans to tackle light pollution in the northern provinces: the Leeuwarder Courant reports that that includes install illuminated road markings along provincial bike paths in Friesland and creating responsive dimming lighting.
The initiatives are part of a larger project to create a “Dark Sky” area in the UNESCO World Heritage region. The Harlinger Courant writes that provincial and municipal governments are among the 44 different parties working together with companies, including Groningen Seaports, and conservancy agencies to cut back on light pollution from street lamps along roadways and bike paths.
The Wadden region along the coasts of Groningen and Friesland is one of the darkest areas of the Netherlands by night, but light pollution from street lamps in particular is still a challenge. Maintaining the naturally dark conditions of the region with limited artificial lighting is seen as vital for the welfare of animals and humans inhabiting the area.
The municipality of Hollands Kroon in North Holland will also be rolling out the light-up markings and will replace 1,350 light installations over the next six years. Plans to reduce artificial lighting in the region began in 2016, and similar works have already begun on Ameland.
The Afsluitdijk has been retrofitted to limit artificial light pollution: the national water management agency Rijkswaterstaat worked together with Daan Roosegaard, an artist who created an illuminated cycling path in the city of Oss in Eindhoven in 2014, to change the lighting situation on the causeway between Friesland and North Holland.