Sadly, anyone who spends a lot of time in the ocean in Laguna knows it is littered with plastic pollution. While we have a long way to go globally, the City of Laguna Beach has been a leader in tackling plastic pollution over the last decade. We have another chance to lead when the City Council considers banning helium or “lighter-than-air” balloons.
When these balloons are released intentionally or accidentally, they immediately become airborne litter and eventually lose their loft and often land in our public open spaces or in the ocean, where they threaten marine life. Balloons are often mistaken for food and are consumed by sea birds, sea turtles, and marine mammals. The attached strings also can cause wildlife entanglement.
As a result cities across the nation are banning the sale and release of lighter-than-air balloons, including recent bans in Solana Beach and Encinitas.
While mylar balloons are particularly harmful because they last longer in the environment (and can also spark fires if they hit power lines), all lighter-than-air balloons have a negative impact on marine wildlife.
We are urging the City to join Solana Beach and Encinitas in banning the sale and release of all lighter-than-air balloons.
If you agree, please contact our city council and urge them to support a ban on all lighter-than-air balloon sales and releases.
Chad Nelsen, Laguna Beach resident and Surfrider Foundation CEOView Our User Comment Policy