Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre applauds balloon release ban

Helium balloon release
Helium balloon release

The Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre has thrown its support behind Bega Valley Shire Council’s decision to ban the release of balloons at council events and on council reserves.

Discovery centre manager Kerryn Wood said it was a fabulous initiative she hoped would spread “everywhere”.

Mayor Kristy McBain’s and Cr Cathy Griff’s recommendation to council last week followed a similar decision by Eurobodalla Shire.

The motion passed 6-2, with councillors Russell Fitzpatrick and Tony Allen against it, and Robyn Bain absent.

Ms Wood said the ban was especially important for coastal communities, with towns such as Eden dependent on fishing and tourism.

“The last things we want cruise ship visitors to see are marine wildlife or birds entangled in plastic or washed up dead from ingesting it,” she said.

The discovery centre was instrumental in gathering signatures on a petition presented to State Parliament. 

Last year Eden Scouts collected, sorted and recorded marine debris for Tangaroa Blue’s Australian database.