All released balloons return to the land and water as a particularly insidious form of pollution. They are deadly to marine animals and birds. There are many examples of sea turtles mistaking a balloon in the water for a jelly fish which happens to be one of their favorite foods. Or of a gull, cormorant, or pelican whose wings or beak are fatally wrapped and impaired by the ribbon from a balloon.
There are alternatives to balloon releases. Plant a tree in someone’s memory. Write your wishes on little pieces of paper and store them to retrieve at a later date. Use bubbles to celebrate a joyous occasion. Please do not release balloons. And be aware that there is no such thing as a biodegradable balloon.
Clean Virginia Waterways and the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center have been collecting information since 2012 to better understand the sources, impacts, and accumulation patterns of littered balloons. You can help add to this data. If you find a littered balloon anywhere in Virginia or in its coastal waters you can report it here.
LRNow has been working with the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center for five years to change the Virginia state law that allows up to 49 balloons to be released at any one event. Please tell your state legislator that you want balloon releases banned in Virginia.