Reducing Urban Glow

Urban glow behind treeline

About the project

The Reducing Urban Glow in Bundaberg project is a collaboration between Bundaberg Regional Council, project partners and technical experts.

The project uses smart technology to measure urban lighting levels and makes that data available to the community to reduce the negative impact of lighting on both nesting and hatchling marine turtles.

This project aims to empower the community to make informed decisions about their use of light and take positive action to reduce urban glow.

Why is it important?

All of the world’s sea turtle populations are considered rare or threatened. Six live in Australia, and three nest along the Bundaberg Region’s coast at Mon Repos, Burnett Heads and Bargara. The Bundaberg coastline hosts the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the east coast of Australia and is home to 50 per cent of endangered Loggerhead turtle breeding activity in the South Pacific Ocean.

Scientific evidence indicates that artificial light sources have a negative impact on adult turtle nesting site selection and hatchling ocean-finding behaviour by preventing turtles from navigating to and from the ocean.

What will happen?

A network of sensors that measure light pollution will be strategically placed along the region’s coastline and the eastern fringe of Bundaberg city.

Data from these sensors will be displayed on a real-time heat map so that community members can see lighting ‘hot spots’ across the region, and, where needed, make changes to reduce lighting intensity.

The data collected will also guide deployment of smart lighting technology in precincts of highest urban glow and provide a means to measure the subsequent impact of reduced glow on the survival rate of marine turtles.

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