Anyone caught releasing a helium balloon in Atlantic City could soon face a $500 fine

    Wikipedia image.

    Wikipedia image.

    Planning on releasing a helium balloon soon in Atlantic City?

    That could cost you $500. 

    A measure advancing through the city’s council prohibits the release of helium balloons along the entire barrier island that is home to Atlantic City as well as Ventnor, Margate and Longport – the other municipalities that have enacted similar bans.

    Atlantic City councilors authorized the ban, along with the penalty, in a unanimous 9-0 vote cast on Wednesday night, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

    It’s slated for a final vote at an upcoming meeting. The city council was warned their vote may lead to a visit from the Balloon Council, a lobbying group dedicated to the safe release of balloons.

    Environmentalists say the release ban will help reduce trash and better protect marine life.

    The recent ordinance adopted by nearby Longport says “the release of balloons inflated with lighter-than-air gases pose a danger and nuisance to the environment, particularly to wildlife and marine animals so as to constitute a public nuisance and may pose a threat to the safety of its inhabitants and their property.”

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

    The organization provides a variety of alternatives here

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    The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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