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A Voice for our Ocean

Ocean Conservancy Applauds Florida Lawmakers for Balloon Release Ban

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (March 6, 2024)—Ocean Conservancy, the nation’s oldest marine conservation nonprofit, applauds Florida lawmakers for passing legislation banning the intentional release of balloons outside—which is a monumental step to save birds, turtles, and other sea creatures. When marine animals are entangled in balloon litter or eat it, they not only suffer, but can die.

“For years, Ocean Conservancy has passionately advocated for this pivotal measure to shield our marine ecosystems from the harmful effects of balloon litter,” said Jon Paul “J.P.” Brooker, Ocean Conservancy’s Director of Florida Conservation. “We are thrilled to see this bill pass and eagerly await the Governor’s signature.”

Currently, it’s illegal to release more than 10 balloons in 24 hours, but House Bill 321 when signed into law, will prohibit releasing any balloons in Florida. Violators will be subject to a $150 fine, with an exception for children age 6 and under. Ocean Conservancy praises Senator Nick DiCeglie and Representative Linda Chaney for their efforts to sponsor this important legislation and the Florida Legislature for passing it and sending it to Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk.

Ocean Conservancy has been educating the public about the problems balloon releases pose to marine life for years. A study of sea turtles found that of the 41 pieces of rubber eaten by turtles studied, 32 pieces (78%) were balloon fragments. Balloons are the deadliest type of plastic that seabirds ingest—being 32 times more likely to kill them compared to hard plastics. 

Ocean Conservancy has mobilized millions of volunteers through the International Coastal Cleanup® to help collect trash and data on the most prevalent types of plastics polluting our beaches, including balloons. In nearly 40 years, volunteers have picked up more than 1.8 million balloons littered across coastlines worldwide. In 2021 alone, volunteers collected 34,921 balloons globally. 

About Ocean Conservancy

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook, X (Formerly known as Twitter), and Instagram.

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Roya Fox




Protecting Florida

For Florida’s ocean and coasts, this is an all-hands-on-deck moment. If we work together, there’s a lot that we can do to tackle these problems. It’s going to require action on all levels—from individual citizens to powerful policy makers in Tallahassee and Washington D.C. to local leaders in the cities and towns across the state.

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Our ocean faces many threats like the onslaught of ocean trash, overfishing and ocean acidification. With the help of donors like you, Ocean Conservancy is developing innovative solutions to save our ocean.

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