NPS reports nearly 2,000 balloons collected along Cape Hatteras National Seashore in 2023 – OBX Today

A mylar balloon with fish and the quote “Making A Splash” with a tire track in the sand as the background. (Courtesy M. Gosselin/NPS)
The National Park Service reported Thursday that a total of 1,786 balloons were collected and picked up along the Seashore in 2023.

Park Biologists not only monitor nesting shorebirds and keep watch over sea turtle nests; they also pick up trash along the beach. Just as they track statistics for these nesting animals, they also record significant trash items found on the beach. In 2022, a total of 733 balloons were collected.
Balloons are a common source of celebration and joy, but they can also have consequences when released outside. Debris can impact creatures we protect both on land and in sea, ironically like the fish on this balloon. Balloons can break down into small pieces of brightly colored plastic that look like food and are often ingested by wildlife.