Balloons are a type of marine debris that many people do not think about.
People who would never throw trash out their car window have been known to intentionally release balloons into the environment to celebrate events and commemorate special occasions. Unfortunately, once they go up, they must also come down. These balloons do not just go away, they either get snagged on something such as tree branches or electrical wires, deflate and make their way back down, or rise until they pop and fall back to Earth where they can create a lot of problems. Balloon debris often ends up in streams, rivers, and the ocean where marine animals can ingest the balloons or become entangled by their attachments, causing great injury and even death.
In June, the NOAA Marine Debris Program released an amazing post with photos showing the dangers of such balloon releases. Take a few minutes to view their post and other links to educate yourself. Then, please think twice before releasing balloons as part of your celebrations.