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A Voice for our Ocean

STATEMENT: Florida Signs Statewide Balloon Release Ban Into Law

Ocean Conservancy Applauds This Major Win for Our Ocean and Marine Ecosystems

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (June 24, 2024) — Today, a Florida bill prohibiting the intentional release of balloons has been signed into law. The law will go into effect on July first. In response, Jon Paul “J.P.” Brooker, director of Florida Conservation at Ocean Conservancy, issued the following statement:

“Ocean Conservancy has worked with Florida legislators for years to ban balloon releases,  and today marks a tremendous win for our manatees, sea turtles, dolphins, birds and other marine life who have fallen victim to balloon litter.”

CLICK HERE FOR REACTION FROM OCEAN CONSERVANCY’S FLORIDA DIRECTOR OF CONSERVATION, JON PAUL “J.P.” BROOKER

Brooker is available for interviews regarding the new law banning balloon releases. To set up an interview with J.P., email Roya Fox at [email protected]

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

“International Coastal Cleanup data shows that balloons are one of the most common forms of beach debris in Florida’s coastal counties,” continued Brooker. “We thank the bill’s sponsors for helping to prevent and protect Florida’s sensitive marine ecosystems from this unnecessary form of plastic pollution.”

Ocean Conservancy scientists also recently reviewed known seabird causes of death. They found that nearly one in three seabirds that consumed even a single balloon died from balloon ingestion. They concluded that balloons are the highest-risk debris item—32 times more likely to kill seabirds than hard plastic.

“What goes up must come down, and when it comes to balloons, that can have deadly consequences for marine life. The ingestion of a single piece of balloon can potentially kill a seabird, which is yet another example of why even one intentionally released balloon is one too many,” added Brooker.

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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 http://www.oceanconservancy.org or follow us on Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter), and Instagram

Media Contact

Roya Fox

(202) 280-6285

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