For Valentine's Day this year, park rangers at South Padre Island in Texas would like to remind you to hold onto your balloons. Literally.
The park notes that balloons often end up along the shoreline and in water if they are not disposed of properly. One family recovered 60 balloons from just one small section of the park's beach in 2020.
"That fleeting gesture can have a very lasting impact, because these balloons can be made out of materials like polypropylene, latex, mylar, and they're designed to withstand fatigue; which means once they end up in the environment, they can last a long time," Dustin Baker, lead ranger for the Interpretation and Education Division at Padre Island National Seashore, told local TV station KRIS.
Balloons can mimic the look of jellyfish, while strings end up wrapped around turtles or other creatures.
Anyone in the area wanting to help remove balloons and other trash on the island can sign up for the Annual Billy Sandifer Big Shell Beach Cleanup on Feb. 27.