What goes up must come down...we’re talking about helium filled balloons. Thousands end up in our waterways and the ocean. They can be deadly to marine animals and birds that mistake them for food or become entangled in the ribbons. Mass balloon releases have been banned in at least seven states nationwide, multiple cities, and in other areas around the world, but South Carolina still allows them. Even though many balloons are made of biodegradable latex, they take months to degrade and wild animals ingest them prior to that time. According to the Marine Conservation Society, dolphins, whales, seabirds and turtles have died from balloons.
That’s why students at Belton Elementary School in Belton, South Carolina, wrote to state lawmakers asking for a ban on massive balloon releases. These students understand that it is vital to keep litter out of our beautiful state and to ensure the survival of wildlife, including threatened and endangered sea turtles. A bill to ban mass balloon releases in SC will be voted on soon and we are asking you to support this ban by writing your state representative. This bill can only get passed if it has your support!
A letter to you from Belton Elementary students: www.bit.ly/jrwildlifeprotectors.
You must have your 9-digit zip code to find your state representative. You can get that at http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/welcome.jsp. With your 9-digit zip code, you can find you’re your state representative at http://www.scstatehouse.gov/cgi-bin/zipcodesearch.exe. Whether you use wording from the student’s letter, the above e-mail or use your own words, tell your state representative that mass balloon releases should be banned in SC!
Find out more about how balloons harm animals at these links:
Thank you for keeping South Carolina beautiful!
Kelly Thorvalson, Sea Turtle Rescue Program Manager
Kate Dittloff, Public Relations Manager
South Carolina Aquarium