Could Michigan Ban Balloon Releases Soon?
This story is basically telling you stop releasing balloons. You’re not only killing the turtles, since we don’t have sea turtles around here, but you're killing the birds and fish around the area.
WZZM reports that the annual Alliance for the Great Lakes cleanup has found between 4,400 and 7,200 pieces of balloons for the past three years along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, although a spokesperson said the years there was less balloon debris was because of fewer volunteers helping and not that there was less balloon waste.
While it’s definitely a problem for us along the lake shore, it’s not an isolated problem, as Pamela Denmom, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist in Virginia told WZZM,
"We would do a necropsy on a bird or turtle or other marine mammal and it would have entangled balloon ribbon all throughout its guts," Denmon said. She added that she encountered dead seabirds, hanging from power lines or choked around the neck by balloon strings."
She continued by saying balloons washing up on the beach are a “huge problem, according to WZZM.
In the near future, you may not be letting balloons fly for graduations, funerals or like Clemson used to do as their football team entered the stadium, as 5 states - California, Connecticut, Florida, Tennessee, and Virginia - are trying to pass laws to limit or ban balloon releases.
WZZM says eight other states are considering changing their laws regarding intentional balloon releases:
Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Maine.