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Multicolored balloons flying to the sky. Jakkree Thampitakkull / Getty Images

After Plastic Straws, Are Balloons Next to Go?

We get it. Balloons are fun and make great decorations. But we hate to burst your bubble—balloons can be a big problem when they are deliberately released into the environment.

The litter is not only a blight on landscapes, waterways, trees and power lines, but balloons and balloon strings can entangle, choke or kill marine life and other animals. That's not to mention the wasteful use of helium, a non-renewable resource.

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Animals
Nesting Kemp's ridley sea turtle. They are the rarest species of sea turtle and is critically endangered. NPS

Nearly 300 Sea Turtles Dead as Red Tide Plagues Southwest Florida

Hundreds of sea turtles have washed up dead along the southwest Florida coast as an ongoing red tide event persists in the waters.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has logged 287 sea turtle deaths since the virulent algal bloom started in October, the Associated Press reported.

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Acting Sub Lt.niwat Thumma / EyeEm / Getty Images

Plastic Straw Bans Have Unintended Consequences for People with Disabilities

The movement to ban plastic straws has gained major momentum this month, with Seattle's ban going into effect July 1 and companies like Starbucks, Hyatt and American Airlines all agreeing to phase the sucking devices out as well.

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Animals
A Kemp's ridley sea turtle like this one was found strangled by a beach chair Saturday. EPA

World’s Most Endangered Sea Turtle Found Strangled by Beach Chair

An extremely endangered sea turtle was found dead on a Fort Morgan, Alabama beach Saturday, strangled by an abandoned beach chair, the Miami Herald reported Sunday.

The turtle's death was documented by a series of Facebook posts by the Fort Morgan branch of Alabama sea turtle conservation group Share the Beach.

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Aerial view of Corpus Christi, Texas. Simiprof / Wikimedia Commons

Texas Residents Urge Rejection of World's Largest Plastics Plant: 'Millions of Gallons of Toxic Wastewater a Day' Would Be Dumped Into Corpus Christi Bay

The Center for Biological Diversity and more than 1,100 Texas residents are demanding that Texas regulators reconsider issuing a wastewater permit to a project that would be the world's largest plastics plant.

The facility, funded by ExxonMobil and the Saudi Arabian government, would discharge more than 13 million gallons a day of toxic wastewater. It will exceed legal pollution standards, as the Center for Biological Diversity notes in a petition filed Wednesday with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

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A Kemp's ridley hatchling makes its way to the water on Padre Island, Texas. Terry Ross, CC BY-SA

For Baby Sea Turtles, Beaches Become Safer While Ocean Hazards Mount

By Pamela T. Plotkin

On beaches from North Carolina to Texas and throughout the wider Caribbean, one of nature's great seasonal events is underway. Adult female sea turtles are crawling out of the ocean, digging deep holes in the sand and laying eggs. After about 60 days turtle hatchlings will emerge and head for the water's edge, fending for themselves from their first moments.

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Energy

Trump Administration Offers 77 Million Acres in Gulf of Mexico to Oil Industry

The Trump administration is holding the biggest offshore oil and gas lease auction in U.S. history Wednesday, offering all 77 million acres of unleased, available federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

The sale comes as administration officials seek to rescind drilling safety rules approved after the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, reduce royalties paid by oil companies, and expand offshore drilling into every ocean in the country.

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Between 300 and 400 dead sea turtles were found floating about seven nautical miles off Jiquilisco Bay. MARN El Salvador / Twitter

Hundreds of Sea Turtles Found Dead Off El Salvador and No One Knows Why

Between 300 to 400 dead sea turtles were found floating seven nautical miles off the Jiquilisco Bay Biosphere Reserve in El Salvador, the country's Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) tweeted yesterday.

The majority of the creatures were already decomposing when they were found, the ministry said. The species was not revealed.

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Animals
A baby-pangolin. The U.S. has been instrumental in the past in combatting wildlife trafficking, a role the nation could abandon under Trump's draconian budget.

Trump Budget Undercuts U.S. Commitment to Global Wildlife Conservation

By William H. Funk

Proposed funding cuts to environmental programs in President Trump's proposed 2018 budget have drawn anxious attention from around the world. But while the biggest numbers deal with rolling back the Obama administration's climate change initiatives, more subtle withdrawals of federal support from lesser known international programs threaten the continued existence of some of the planet's most iconic animals.

President Trump's 2018 budget proposes a 32 percent across-the-board shrinkage of U.S. foreign assistance, affecting hundreds of sustainability, health and environmental programs.

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