Town Bans Balloons In Rhode Island

Balloons won't fly anymore in New Shoreham, Rhode Island.

The town council there voted unanimously this week to say goodbye to balloons for good. The new law prohibits the sale and use of balloons throughout the town, which comprises the area of Block Island off Rhode Island's coast.

"We are very concerned about the environment," said Kenneth Lacoste, first warden of the town council. "There's a lot of information out there of damages that balloons do to the wildlife."

Wildlife isn't the only concern. Environmental organizations often point out that balloons can land in the ocean, eventually washing up on the shore and polluting the environment.

Balloons Blow, a nonprofit organization dedicated to warning the public of the dangers of balloons, offers environmentally friendly alternatives to balloons on their website.

Although there are no specific party stores on the island that depend heavily on the sales of balloons, Lacoste said there are a few places that use them for parties or events.

New Shoreham now joins a few other towns, such as Provincetown and Nantucket in Massachusetts, that have banned balloons. Other states have legislation to regulate balloon releases

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