Don’t Let the Balloons Go!
You might think it is beautiful to see a bright colored balloon fly in the light blue sky but this thought will rapidly go away once you see a dead bird on the beach tangled in a balloon ribbon!
Surveys have shown the amount of balloons and balloon pieces found on the beach have tripled in the past 10 years. We’ve witnessed this increase firsthand, cleaning the beaches on a weekly basis, especially when we come around graduation season. For a fact, one of Helen’s friend (Site captain at Mussel Rock) found over 20 balloons and ribbons on June 9th 2015 while walking along the shoreline.
Dolphins, whales, turtles, and many other marine species, as well as terrestrial animals such as cows, dogs, sheep, tortoises, birds and other animals have all been hurt or killed by balloons. The animal is usually killed from the balloon blocking its digestive tract, leaving them unable to take in any more nutrients. It slowly starves to death. The animals can also become entangled in the balloon and its ribbon making it unable to move or eat.
Balloons can take years to break down, even the so-called “biodegradable” latex ones. The break down process is still too slow and this gives plenty of time for the balloon to travel and encounter many animals that may mistake it for a tasty snack, or accidentally get entangled in its ribbon.
Please help us spread the word, don’t let the balloons go!
CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE SECTION 653.1.
653.1. (a) No person shall sell or distribute any balloon which is constructed of electrically conductive material, and filled with a gas lighter than air without:
(1) Affixing an object of sufficient weight to the balloon or its appurtenance to counter the lift capability of the balloon.
(2) Affixing a statement on the balloon, or ensuring that a statement is so affixed, that warns the consumer about the risk if the balloon comes in contact with electrical power lines.
(3) A printed identification of the manufacturer of the balloon.
(b) No person shall sell or distribute any balloon filled with a gas lighter than air, which is attached to an electrically conductive string, tether, streamer, or other electrically conductive appurtenance.
(c) No person shall sell or distribute any balloon which is constructed of electrically conductive material and filled with a gas lighter than air, which, is attached to another balloon constructed of electrically conductive material and filled with a gas lighter than air.
(d) No person or group shall release, outdoors, balloons made of electrically conductive material and filled with a gas lighter than air, as part of a public or civic event, promotional activity, or product advertisement.
(e) Any person who violates subdivision (a), (b), (c), or (d) shall be guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100). Any person who violates subdivision (a), (b), (c), or (d) who has been previously convicted twice of violating subdivision (a), (b), (c), or (d) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(f) This section shall not apply to manned hot air balloons, or to balloons used in governmental or scientific research projects.