Surfrider's Ocean City Chapter, working with other groups from Trash Free Maryland, helped pass Maryland State bills HB391 and S716, which banned the intentional release of balloons in Maryland. Governor Hogan did not sign the bill, so it went into law on May 30, 2021. It took effect October 1, 2021.
Most people don't think about what happens to a balloon after it is released, but what goes up, must come down. Often balloons end up in our oceans, where they can choke marine life like turtles and whales who mistake them for food, or animals can get tangled in the ribbon. We aren't talking about a child accidentally releasing a balloon. We want to ban the act of releasing a bunch of balloons on purpose, which often happens at special events.