Holiday celebrations minus balloon releases best for Florida wildlife
Friday, December 09, 2011
Media contact: Diane Hirth, 850-410-5291
As people gather together for occasions that make the holidays
bright, remember that releasing balloons may be harmful to
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
wants event and meeting organizers and other Floridians to be aware
of a law prohibiting the release of more than nine lighter-than-air
balloons within a 24-hour period.
Instead of releasing balloons this holiday season, the FWC
suggests groups use more environmentally friendly ways to celebrate
events such as New Year's Eve and football bowl games.
The release into the atmosphere of large numbers of
balloons inflated with lighter-than-air gases poses a danger and
nuisance to the environment, particularly to wildlife and marine
animals. Balloons released in Florida almost inevitably end up in
the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean or other water bodies. Wildlife,
especially sea turtles, mistake balloons for food, and strings
attached to balloons can entangle birds and other animals.
There are exceptions for balloons released indoors, scientific
or meteorological balloons released by a government agency or under
government contract, or hot air balloons recovered after