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Opinion: Encinitas balloon ban is cause for celebration

Re “Encinitas council unanimously agrees to ban helium-filled balloons” (Jan. 20): Encinitas voted yes on the first reading of the ordinance to ban the sale and distribution of helium balloons.

Helium balloons are a threat to marine ecosystems that are dependent on healthy shorelines, oceans and tourism. Once in the environment, balloons are often mistaken for food.

An Oceana report titled “Choked, Strangled and Drowned: The Plastics Crisis Unfolding in Our Oceans” compiled data on plastic ingestion and entanglements in marine animals in U.S. waters from 2009 to 2020.

Balloons were among the most common plastic items found in these cases of plastic ingestion and entanglement.

In 2017, a leatherback sea turtle was found with plastic sheeting in its gastrointestinal tract. We hope other municipalities will follow Encinitas’ lead.

Melissa Morris
Field Representative
Oceana

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