The borough is making strides to protect the coastal environment with the introduction of an ordinance banning the intentional release of balloons in Lavallette.
Those present on the dais for the meeting voted unanimously to introduce the ordinance. Councilman Dave Finter was absent from the meeting.
“These balloons are very harmful to the sea creatures, especially turtles, and anything we can do to protect them is very important,” says Council President Anita Zalom.
Lavallette’s move to ban balloon releases comes following a request that the Highlands-based American Littoral Society has made to many shore communities. According to Helen Henderson, the Ocean Program manager for the Society:
“Balloons don’t just go up and never come down. When they come down, they’re extremely harmful to the marine life in the area.”
According to Mayor Walter LaCicero, one of the main issues the borough ordinance attempts to tackle is the release of mylar balloons, which have a shiny surface and are typically filled with helium.
“The mylar balloons don’t decompose at all and they tend to resemble jellyfish to the turtles, which is a major issue. It is also a big hit on our strategic helium resource,” the mayor said.