60+ balloons found at Padre Island National Seashore after Valentine’s weekend

Andrew Ibarra (Padre Island National Seashore)

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Officials at Padre Island National Seashore are reminding the public to show wildlife some love too after more than 60 balloons were found on the beach over Valentine’s Day weekend.

According to a Facebook post, a family volunteered to clean up the beach Saturday and discovered 65 Valentine’s balloons on the shore. Two more balloons were found Sunday.

Andrew Ibarra, the boy in the photo, was out at the beach with his family celebrating his birthday.

The 8th grader at Gregory Portland Middle School “made us stop over 40 times to pick up all the balloons,” his mother told KSAT.

Sea turtles mistakenly eat balloons, confusing the balloons for jellyfish. Birds can easily get tangled up in balloon strings.

“We’re sure many more have been found that we haven’t been told about,” the post says in part.

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“Balloons are a fun way to celebrate, but they end up being more harmful in the long-run,” officials said.

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Posted by Padre Island National Seashore on Monday, February 17, 2020

Despite the 67 balloons found at the beach “imagine how many ended up in the Gulf.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration notes that balloons “can be carried by currents and winds, having far-reaching impacts. Once balloons enter the ocean, they can become yet another hazard for marine wildlife.”

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.