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    Atlantic City can now fine anyone caught releasing a balloon up to $500

    The pending bill cites balloons as a danger to wildlife and marine animals who mistake them as food or become entangled in the string. (Wikimedia commons)

    The pending bill cites balloons as a danger to wildlife and marine animals who mistake them as food or become entangled in the string. (Wikimedia commons)

    Your wallet might become substantially lighter if you release a balloon in Atlantic City. 

    The city council last night voted unanimously to prohibit the release of balloons filled with gas lighter than air.

    If caught, violators could face a fine of up to $500.

    Atlantic City now joins the other municipalities along the island, Ventnor, Margate and Longport, with similar bans. 

    Councilman Frank Gilliam tells The Press of Atlantic City he introduced the ordinance because he wants to protect wildlife and keep the city clean.

    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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