The Galveston City Council approved a new ordinance that bans residents and visitors from releasing balloons outdoors in an effort to eliminate litter caused by such releases and reduce harm to the environment.
Earlier this month, the city council unanimously voted in favor of an amendment to the city’s litter ordinance by adding regulations prohibiting the intentional release of balloons. Under the ordinance, intentionally releasing a balloon outdoors is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by an up to $200 fine.
Balloon releases are sometimes done for celebratory or remembrance reasons, however, the balloons become litter that is harmful to several marine and bird species. The goal of the ordinance is to educate residents and visitors about the environmental harms of balloons releases and eliminate the practice within the city of Galveston.
The new ordinance does carry a few exceptions for balloons released by a person on behalf of a governmental agency for scientific or meteorological purposes. A copy of the ordinance is available online here.