Lake Worth eyes regulating balloons and sky lanterns on city property

sea turtlesLAKE WORTH — City commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting are scheduled to vote on an ordinance that would regulate balloon and sky lantern use on city-owned property.

The city’s Leisure Services Department contends that balloons and sky lanterns released into the atmosphere return to earth as litter and pose a danger to the environment and wildlife.

The Florida’s East Coast is home to some of the most densely utilized seaturtle nesting beaches in the country and other marine animals. Sea turtles, for instance, often mistake the remains from balloons as food which may potentially damage their digestive systems, lead to starvation and/or death.

Morever, even biodegradable balloons do not degrade quickly enough to avoid ingestion, the city said.

The city would like to set a Sept. 6 public hearing date on the issue.