Another Jersey Shore town bans intentional balloon releases

The Monmouth Beach ordinance intends to “to protect the environment, particularly marine and other wildlife, and the health, safety and welfare of persons and property.

The Monmouth Beach ordinance intends to “to protect the environment, particularly marine and other wildlife, and the health, safety and welfare of persons and property." (Wikimedia commons)

Another Jersey Shore town has banned intentional balloon releases as the state considers a prohibition on the act.

Monmouth Beach adopted the ordinance in late April, joining Atlantic City and nearby municipalities that already have laws to prohibit the release of balloons inflated with lighter-than-air gases.  The municipality also has the most comprehensive ban on plastics in New Jersey.

The Monmouth Beach ordinance intends “to protect the environment, particularly marine and other wildlife, and the health, safety and welfare of persons and property.”

The law exempts those used for scientific purposes, released and remaining indoors, and hot air balloons that return to land. Although the ordinance does not specify a fine, it empowers a municipal judge to levy a monetary penalty.

A bill pending in the New Jersey legislature to ban balloon releases prescribes a $500 fine.

Environmentalists say banning balloon releases will help reduce trash and better protect marine life in New Jersey, where the advocacy group Clean Ocean Action reported a sharp increase in balloons collected during beach sweeps in 2018.

Balloons Blow, an organization that advocates for prohibiting balloon releases, said several jurisdictions in the country have similar laws banning the activity.

The organization provides a variety of alternatives here.

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