The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is concerned about the birds. The UK-based charity decided to cancel a scheduled balloon race after its own supporters spoke out against the event, saying the release of 1,000 biodegradable balloons could potentially harm nearby wildlife. The balloons are often mistaken for food by many species and can seriously injure animals who eat them.
"It was organised in good faith, but we are not environmental experts," said Louise Barth, the RLNI's fundraising and communications manager. "We would be horrified if something we did damaged the environment and wildlife."
The organization has planned a virtual balloon race in lieu of the original event.