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New Jersey has introduced legislation (A4322) to prohibit the intentional outdoor release of inflated balloons.

Offenders would be subject to a $1,000 fine per violation, or $2,000 for intentionally
tethering a balloon outdoors and leaving it unattended.

The legislation would also apply to other floating devices such as sky lanterns or aerial luminary lanterns

“Balloons filled with helium and other lighter-than-air gases make for great fun at parties, but if they’re not disposed of properly, they can post unnecessary risks to our environment,” said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling. “Many animals, both on land and in the ocean, are attracted to their bright colors and can mistake them for food, causing severe injury or death. Many more animals become entangled by balloon strings, and can become injured or strangled to death as a result. Folks at the Jersey Shore have enjoyed balloons at celebrations and other events for decades, but it’s important that we do so responsibly, without littering or damaging the world around us.”

A full list of cities that have adopted ordinances prohibiting the intentional release of balloons inflated with lighter-than air gases includes Atlantic City, Asbury Park, Bradley Beach, Brigantine, Cape May City, Egg Harbor City, Long Beach Township, Longport Borough, Margate City, New Milford, North Wildwood, Sea Isle City, Somers Point, Upper Township, and Ventnor City

Click here to read the official press statement from Clean Ocean Action (COA).