Balloon-related litter (latex balloons, foil balloons and plastic ribbons) is a top source of debris found on Virginia’s remote beaches according to this report by Clean Virginia Waterways of Longwood University (January 2021).
Balloons and plastic ribbons are among the deadliest types of ocean trash to all kinds of wildlife including sea turtles and birds. While balloons can be found littered anywhere, research shows that they accumulate in coastal environments between the high tide line and the dune vegetation, which is critical habitat for nesting shorebirds, sea turtles, and diamondback terrapins.
The amount of balloon litter that can be found on a small stretch of remote beach is quite alarming. In November 2020, a total of 212 pieces of balloon-related litter were documented—and removed—from just one-half mile of shoreline. The Virginia CZM Program (a state agency network led by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality) provided support for much of the research through funding from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office for Coastal Management.
"Deadly Litter: Balloons & Plastic Ribbons On Virginia's Coastal Beaches" is attached to this post, and can be downloaded from the Clean Virginia Waterways' Publication Page.
Other reports by CVW can be downloaded (FREE) from: http://www.longwood.edu/cleanva/publications.html
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