I am 9 years old and like most kids I like balloons. But I’m really worried about what they are doing to our environment and wildlife here in Georgia. Why is throwing trash along the side of a road illegal, but releasing balloons in the sky to explode and fall to the ground in pieces legal? To me it seems that releasing balloons into the air is the same thing as littering and laws need to be put in place to protect our wildlife.
On the ground, balloons can easily be mistaken for prey and eaten by animals. They are especially harmful in an aquatic environment because they look like jellyfish – a major source of food for marine animals including sea turtles, dolphins, whales, fish and seabirds. Attachments such as ribbons and string tied to balloons are a particular problem for land and sea animals as they can lead to entanglement and death.
Georgia is home to several sea turtle species – all of which are endangered. When these marine animals ingest balloons the pyloric valve can get blocked so that food cannot pass through, causing slow, painful starvation.
Balloon release is illegal in several states including: Virginia, Connecticut, Florida, Tennessee, New York, Texas and California. I recently moved to GA from Florida where it is a crime to intentionally release more than (10) balloons in a 24-hour period.
Please help me pass legislation to stop balloon releases and help save one of Georgia's most precious resources -- its wildlife!