On Earth Day, Mayor Johnson proclaims ‘Lights Out Nights’ in Dallas to help migratory birds

The proclamation is part of the Lights Out Texas Initiative led by former First Lady Laura Bush.

DALLAS — Mayor Eric Johnson on Friday issued an official proclamation declaring April 22 through May 12, 2022, as “Lights Out Nights” in the city.

Mayor Johnson’s proclamation urges residents and businesses — including the city’s famed LED-lit downtown buildings — to turn off or turn down non-essential lights between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. during a critical migratory period for birds in the United States. Light pollution, prominent in major metropolitan areas such as the Dallas region, threatens birds migrating throughout the country. The birds, which often migrate at night, are disoriented by urban lights and are more likely to collide with buildings as a result.

The proclamation is part of the Lights Out Texas Initiative, led by former First Lady Laura Bush. Mayor Johnson has previously supported the initiative during past critical migratory periods.

“Dallas is a global leader in addressing environmental issues,” Mayor Johnson said. “And on Earth Day, I am proud to say that the people of our city have made major strides by taking small steps, such as this one, together.

“Lights Out Nights have become a worthwhile tradition in Dallas, and I encourage all of our residents and businesses to again participate if they are able to do so safely,” Mayor Johnson said. “Turning off non-essential lighting at night for a few weeks helps our ecosystem, conserves energy, and saves money.”

Here is the text of the proclamation:

WHEREAS, Every spring and fall, nearly two billion birds travel through the State of Texas; This number represents between a quarter and a third of all birds migrating throughout the United States; and

WHEREAS, It is important to recognize this massive migration of birds occurs at night; and

WHEREAS, These birds must contend with a rapidly increasing but still under-recognized threat: light pollution; Light attracts and disorients these migrating birds, confusing them and making them vulnerable to collisions with buildings and other urban threats; and

WHEREAS, The extensive and intense light pollution from Texas cities, combined with the enormous bird migration, creates a particularly hazardous environment; In one study, Dallas ranked №3 of the 125 most populous American cities for exposing migrating birds to light pollution; and

WHEREAS, The City of Dallas is a community that cares about protecting wildlife and the environment; Dallas is recognized as one of the seven cities certified as a “Bird City” by Texas Parks and Wildlife; and

WHEREAS, Dallas is joining an international Lights Out effort by proposing and implementing a simple solution to protect birds: turning off non-essential lighting during critical migration periods; Turning off non-essential lights dramatically reduces hazards to migrating birds, allowing them to safely proceed with their journeys; and

WHEREAS, With each passing season, light pollution continues to increase, and more birds are at risk; and

WHEREAS, Lights Out Texas is a statewide initiative that aims to raise awareness of this issue and is led by former First Lady Laura Bush, a coalition of conservation non-profits, universities, governmental organizations, and Texans dedicated to the conservation of birds; and

WHEREAS, All Dallas residents and business owners are encouraged to help protect birds by turning off all non-essential lighting in downtown and beyond during the spring critical bird migration period, which is between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. from April 22, 2022 until May 12, 2022 in Texas.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ERIC JOHNSON, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF DALLAS, do hereby proclaim the nights of April 22 through May 12, 2022 as

LIGHTS OUT NIGHTS

in Dallas, Texas

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Tristan Hallman

Tristan Hallman

Chief of Policy and Communications for Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson