Ban the release of sky lanterns and balloons in Haldimand Ontario

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There is an event planned for July 14 2018 at the Dunnville Airport, 536 Port Maitland Rd. Dunnville, which includes the release of sky lanterns.

I want to have the use of sky lanterns and helium balloons banned in Haldimand County because of the threat they pose to the environment, wildlife, homes, businesses and people.

I'm asking anyone who owns a home, a farm, a cottage or a business; anyone who enjoys recreation on our waterways fishing, swimming or hitting the beach; anyone who wants to keep Haldimand pollution-free to sign this petition to ban the release of sky lanterns and helium balloons.

We live in farm country. Farms that include both animals and crops. We also live on the doorstep of Lake Erie and some of Ontario's rivers, including The Grand River. We share all of this with a diverse and delicate group of animals, fish, amphibians and reptiles.

The use of sky lanterns have been deemed by the Ontario Fire Marshal as a potential threat.  For this reason they have already been banned in several communities here in Ontario, 29 states in our neighbouring country, and in several places across Europe. The potential fire risk poses a threat to livestock, wild animals and people; especially as the weather warms up and things dry out. If one of these lanterns landed in a dry marsh or a field of corn, the impact could easily be catastrophic. Not to mention a barn full of cattle, pigs, chickens; or someone's home.  

They also pose a threat to cleanliness of our forests, fields, waterways and beaches. Although they are made primarily of paper and bamboo, these take time to decompose. Paper floating around out in Lake Erie, The Grand River and in fields is not anything we should be encouraging. Bamboo takes longer to decompose and can puncture the systems of fish, turtles, birds and the feet of wild animals and people. Most of these lanterns have wire in them which is also a danger to fish, animals and people. Then there is the wax used. For these things to float, the air has to be heated with fire. Generally a candle. Wax is wax, it does not break down very quickly and while it's breaking down animals and fish try to eat it and get sick or die from it.

Helium balloons have been well documented to leave environmental impacts. Latex or foil balloons can take a long time to decompose, if ever. The string used to tie the balloons has been found in the stomachs of wildlife, wrapped around birds and fish - causing them to die.

What goes up, eventually must come down. Releasing sky lanterns and balloons might be beautiful to watch, however, there is no guarantee where they will land. Very rarely does anyone ever go to pick them up. Once the thrill of releasing them is over, no one really thinks about where they end up. For this reason, I'm petitioning that the release of both sky lanterns and helium balloons be banned in Haldimand County.

Some references to support my petition