Light and noise are two types of pollution you may not immediately think of as a threat to biodiversity in the Lower Chippewa River State Nature Area. Light pollution is artificial lighting that harms ecosystems. Bright streetlights and household security lighting that leak light into the night sky are the biggest source of light pollution and a waste of energy. Artificial nighttime glow has been linked to increased occurrence of skin cancer in organisms, as well as disruption of vital cycles that dictate sleep/wakefulness and migratory instincts.
Noise pollution is human-produced sound that can damage ecosystems and quality of life. We contribute to noise pollution by driving cars, playing loud music, and operating other loud equipment. Studies have shown that noise pollution is directly linked to reduced sleep times in humans and other animals, which increases stress, promotes disease, and increases the occurrence of mental illness. Noise from loud boat motors has also been shown to increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease in freshwater largemouth bass.
You can help reduce light pollution by using outdoor lighting that delivers a narrow, focused beam of light instead of broad, peripheral glow. In addition, respect noise ordinances in your local community and while using recreational watercraft.