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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Advocates in Maine are looking to make it known that the state contains the largest area free of light pollution in the eastern half of the United States in order to draw more tourism.

Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Executive Director Andrew Bossie says he and others are working on an application to the International Dark-Sky Association. The Portland Press Herald reports their goal would be to obtain the highest level of dark sky designation the IDA gives, an International Dark Sky Reserve.

The IDA was founded in 1988, and the Arizona-based nonprofit works to designate dark sky areas through a conservation program called International Dark Sky Places.

Bossie says he hopes protecting dark skies will draw “astrotourists” to see views in natural darkness.


Information from: Portland Press Herald,