Springtime Brings Renewed Warnings about Balloon Dangers

In addition to warnings from government and grassroots groups, Connecticut has a law against balloon releases.

Warnings about what balloons can do to wildlife and the environment in Connecticut [and other states] have become as much a rite of passage each spring as the graduation, birthday, and general parties that lead to them being released in the first place.

Leading the charge each year are a governmental agency — the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection — and an advocacy group — Balloonsblow.org.

“Instead of releasing balloons, find an environmentally friendly way to celebrate an event or memorialize a loved one,” DEEP officials proclaim annually. “Balloons and their strings come back to the ground as litter and can be deadly to wildlife. Large balloon releases are illegal in Connecticut, but no balloons should be released at all.”

https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/S5308

States are beginning to enact laws and New York has BILL NUMBER: S5308 Introduced to the NY State Assembly by Sen. Palumbo dated March 2021, “AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to prohibiting the release of balloons.” (In PDF HERE) and view examples at Marine Debris: FIConservancy

Click the Green button below to read the Fishers Island Conservancy’s
June Report on balloon pollution:

States Push Back Against Releasing Balloons

Click the ballon to read the FI Conservancy Stewardship Story

Mylar balloons are worse than latex balloons in terms of being biodegradable, the groups say, but latex is far from being off the hook. Ballonsblow.org sends an even harsher message than the DEEP:
“The balloon industry has set standards for themselves claiming that releasing balloons that are hand-tied, so-called biodegradable latex balloons without any attachments of ribbon is environmentally friendly,” organization representatives say. “This is just a marketing gimmick to get people to litter with their product. Natural latex may be biodegradable, but after adding chemicals, plasticizers, and artificial dyes, how natural could it be? It may degrade after several years, but it’s surely not biodegradable.

“Many people think it’s okay to release latex balloons because they are marketed as biodegradable. Sadly, this costs lives. Latex balloons are the type most commonly found in the stomachs of dead animals.”

DEEP environmentalists have said a springtime breeze can carry balloons for miles, taking them from points inland right to Long Island Sound and the four species of sea turtles that inhabit Connecticut waters.

“Sea turtles love to eat jellyfish and a balloon, once it deflates and begins floating in Long Island Sound, looks like a jellyfish,” they told Patch as far back as 2016. “We have found turtles washed up on the shore. I remember sending some to Mystic Aquarium for autopsies and their intestines were clogged by balloons.”

Representatives from Balloonsblow.org said they have traced shoreline balloon litter from as far away as Pennsylvania.”

NOTE: NY State and Fishers Island information and references are added to the original Patch report by the FishersIsland.net Editor

Check Also

Blessing of the Pets

FI community members and their pets are most welcome at the Blessing of the Pets Sunday, July 25, on the Village Green.