News & Politics

No, You Can’t Release Balloons in Montgomery County Anymore

Balloon releases are banned now.


Hold onto those colorful strings, folks, because you’ll get fined if you let go of them in Montgomery County now. Balloon releases, a popular yet environmentally harmful celebratory tradition, are now banned under a new bill the county’s council passed yesterday.

The practice has long been seen as especially detrimental to wildlife, with balloons landing in various places where they can end up eaten or otherwise interfering with the ecosystem. Those who intentionally release balloons into the air will face fines up to $750. The ban doesn’t apply to “unintentionally released” balloons or those “released by a minor without parental permission,” according to WTOP.


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Web Producer/Writer

Rosa joined Washingtonian in 2016 after graduating from Mount Holyoke College. She covers arts and culture for the magazine. She’s written about anti-racism efforts at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, dinosaurs in the revamped fossil hall at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, and the horrors of taking a digital detox. When she can, she performs with her family’s Puerto Rican folkloric music ensemble based in Jersey City. She lives in Adams Morgan.