Releasing balloons has long been a controversial activity. This act is often done as an act of remembrance and honor and a symbol of letting go. Though often well-intended, the balloons eventually pop or deflate and are left in nature.

Today, Monday, March 29th, at 10 am, The Legislature's Environment and Natural Resources Committee is holding a public hearing regarding a proposed bill to define balloon releases as acts of littering and therefore prohibited.

The Mount Desert Islander reports of data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service noting that various animals will often mistake discarded balloons for food often resulting in death from ingesting the balloon or getting tangled in the string. They are the number one killer of seabirds.

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In An Act To Define Intentional Balloon Releases as Litter, it seeks to include balloons under the umbrella term of litter. Under the updated definition one "may not throw, drop, deposit, discard, dump, release, or otherwise dispose of [balloons] in any manner or amount" Read the full text here.

If you are interested in this issue the public hearing can be viewed on YouTube here. If you would like to speak you must sign up to do so before 9:30 am.

What do you think? Should balloon releases be considered littering? Let your voice be heard through our app!

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