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Each year, hundreds of millions of birds travel through Texas as they fly south for the winter, mostly traveling at night. There is a growing effort to help these birds by taking a simple action – turning off unnecessary lighting through November 30.

Lights Out Texas is an initiative led by a coalition of partners including conservation non-profits, universities, local governments, and Texans dedicated to the conservation of birds.

 As part of this effort, Travis County has committed to turning off non-essential lights at its downtown buildings during spring and fall bird migration between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Every light turned out helps birds, which can become disoriented and collide with buildings. Nearly one billion birds are estimated to die annually from building collisions in the United States, and migrating birds are especially vulnerable.

In addition to saving birds, turning off unnecessary lights reduces light pollution that obscures our view of the stars, negatively impacts human health, and affects many species of local wildlife by disrupting their physiological processes. It also reduces energy usage, lowering electricity bills. For lights that are needed for security and other reasons, night-sky friendly lighting fixtures that point the light only where it’s needed (and not up into the sky) can go a long way towards reducing light pollution. 

For more information about Lights Out Texas and the County’s recent resolutions, check out:

 https://texanbynature.org/2021/08/travis-county-goes-lights-out-for-migratory-birds/

Download the Lights Out Texas flyer (pdf)

TAX RATE: TRAVIS COUNTY ADOPTED A TAX RATE THAT WILL RAISE MORE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS THAN LAST YEAR’S TAX RATE. THE TAX RATE WILL EFFECTIVELY BE RAISED BY 3.5 PERCENT AND WILL RAISE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS ON A $100,000 HOME BY APPROXIMATELY $10.39.

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