The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking citizens to stop releasing balloons for the sake of our wildlife.
We use balloons to celebrate a variety of occasions, and while they have a wonderful place in our culture, they're starting to become a problem. The USFWS is asking people to do what they can to refrain from letting them float away.
Since many of the balloons end up in our waterways, marine animals can mistake them for food. Similarly, many birds have fallen victim to the same carelessness, becoming entangled in the leftover strings. For these reasons, it's imperative that we put a stop to it.
The USFWS webpage shows images of tangled birds dangling from power lines, and even a turtle that succumbed to a balloon, probably surfacing and mistaking it for a jellyfish.
It shouldn't be so difficult for people to celebrate on one hand, and remain conscious of the environment on the other. But by shedding some light on the issue, the USFWS has at least started a conversation.
Now it's up to the rest of us to carry on the dialog.