Friends of the Irish Environment have written to a Dublin primary school in an attempt to stop the growing trend of schools using mass balloon releases for fund raising.

On May 14 Mount Anville Primary School in Stillorgan plans to release thousands of balloons as part of their fund raising activities.Each student gets a sales sheet and tries to sell as many balloons as possible. The balloons are tagged with a message asking the finder to return the label. Prizes are given to the buyer and seller of the balloon.

Balloons become 'marine debris', a lethal hazard for sea turtles, dolphins, whales, fish, and seabirds who mistake them for jellyfish or other natural prey.

Press Release  |  Letter to school  |  Letter to Minister  | Irish Independent coverage

Ryan Tuberdy and FIE discuss balloons as an environmental hazard at the time of President McAleese releasing baloons in a 2005 controversy.

 


PRESS RELEASE

FRIENDS OF THE IRISH ENVIRONMENT

THURSDAY 8 MAY 2009

 

SCHOOL BALLOON RELEASES CRITICIZED

 

Friends of the Irish Environment have written to a Dublin primary school in an attempt to stop the growing trend of schools using mass balloon releases for fund raising.

 

On May 14 Mount Anville Primary School in Stillorgan plans to release thousands of balloons as part of their fund raising activities.

 

Each student gets a sales sheet and tries to sell as many balloons as possible. The balloons are tagged with a message asking the finder to return the label. Prizes are given to the buyer and seller of the balloon.

 

It has been well established since a Canadian marine conference in 1989 that the release of gas filled balloons is an environmental hazard.

 

Balloons become 'marine debris', a lethal hazard for sea turtles, dolphins, whales, fish, and seabirds who mistake them for jellyfish or other natural prey.

 

The group previously tried to prevent President Mary McAleese partaking in a memorial balloon release in 2005. ASt the time Environment Minister Dick Roche refused to prohibit mass balloon releases.

 

San Francisco is one of many US coastal authorities to have banned the practice, and Britain's Marine Conservation Society supports similar measures.

 

The group has also written to John Gormley, the current Minister for the Environment, seeking to have him reexamine his predecessor's decision and ensure that students in particular are made aware of the established environmental damage done by these increasing popular school fund raisers.

 

Verification: Tony Lowes 027 73131 / 087 2176316

Mount Anville Primary School 01-2831148

 

Letter to school

http://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/friendswork/index.php?do=friendswork&action=view&id=767

 

Letter to Minister

http://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/friendswork/index.php?do=friendswork&action=view&id=768

 

The 2005 controversy over President McAlesse's balloon release

http://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/friendswork/index.php?do=friendswork&action=view&id=503

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