Sad news for balloon fans in the town of New Shoreham, Rhode Island. The town council voted unanimously this week to ban balloons for good.
The new law prohibits the sale and use of balloons in the town. New Shoreham covers the area of an island (Block Island) off the coast of the state, and visitors will no longer see balloons anywhere on the island after the ban.
“We are very concerned about the environment,” said town councilman Kenneth Lacoste. “There’s a lot of information out there of damages that balloons do to the wildlife.”
Harming the wildlife isn’t the only reason for the ban, the local environment is another reason for the ban as balloons often wash up on the shore of the island.
Lacoste said that they find balloons far too often along the shores of New Shoreham. Another item banned by the town are one-time-use plastic grocery bags.
“When your community is surrounded by water and you see the wrath of balloon trash daily, it’s no wonder they are banning balloons altogether,” said Danielle Vosburgh of the nonprofit anti-balloon organization Balloons Blow.
The new law is set to take effect next week, and anyone who breaks it can face a $200 fine.
New Shoreham joins the Massachusetts towns of Provincetown and Nantucket in the ban of balloons. Other states have also created legislation to regulate balloon use and releases.
In other New England town news, a missing baby was found in Sandwich leading to the amazing headline you see below in the next article.