Friday, March 15, 2013


Not long ago I was walking along the beach when I spied something orange caught in the sea oats on the dunes. I was pretty sure it was a balloon, so I walked up to retrieve it. Balloons can be dangerous to sea life. Turtles, birds, and fish often mistake balloons for jellyfish, and die after ingesting them.

It turned out that the balloon was a promotional item, and it was still inflated. I made a photo of it:

Of course, I have no idea when, where, or how this balloon "escaped." But it originated in central Georgia.

Ocracoke is fortunate to not have much litter wash up on our beaches. I can usually walk miles along the shore without ever seeing any trash.

It is always a good idea to keep control of balloons near the ocean or sound. Once let loose they can travel for miles. And if you see balloons on the beach or in the water, we would appreciate it if you would pick them up and discard them where they won't endanger wild life. Many thanks!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the unique "Ocracoke Greeting." You can read it here:


  1. Jack and Toni W.8:04 AM

    We make it a practice when we are anywhere in nature, but definitely along the seashore, to carry a trash bag with us to collect unnatural items...

  2. Anonymous8:57 AM

    Probably 15+ years ago while on Ocracoke, I found a dead gull with its feet wrapped in a discarded plastic 6 pack pack holder. From that day to this I have taken the time to cut each one I discard into shreds

  3. Anonymous9:29 AM

    I have been to that general store .there is a location a hop skip and a jump from the state park 9 miles west of Cordelle Georgia Oh yes I remember it. All things sausage and then some. I can only guess that trash that washes up on shore is debris from boats out at sea unintentionally or intentionally flotsam and jetsam , it happens

  4. Anonymous10:23 AM

    Jack and Toni-we do the same on O..just leave a box of garbage bags in the car. Most days we bring 1 or 2 home full-depending on weather it seems. We often see balloons-it looks to me like junk that washed up from boats vs people visiting the beach. SueM

  5. Anonymous5:15 PM

    cough cough

  6. Anonymous5:25 PM

    Cordelle Georgia is approx 175 miles due west of the ocean and 475 miles sw of ocracoke. your right i don't think those people had any right to release that balloon right in harms way of fish and seaturtles. how flauntingly shocking, the nerve of those people.

  7. Anonymous5:27 PM

    really, someone should get the name of the balloon mfg and sue them for making such a well made balloon. it was clearly aimed at our beaches!

  8. Anonymous5:29 PM

    K.W. is that you in here....?

  9. Anonymous5:30 PM


  10. Anonymous5:32 PM

    i thought so, we're going brooklyn for the gun show me later

  11. debbie s.8:41 PM

    we take lots of bags to the beach. bags for treasure, bags for trash and then a bag for dog poo.

    why is it i seem to pick up more poo from others dogs than mine?


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