Sometimes they are in the water or in trees and thus out of reach, but anyway you cut it, they are litter, and folks who release them into the atmosphere are essentially long-distance litterers.
The photo above is from just after Valentine's Day. The balloon is in the middle of Lake Appert, making it nearly impossible to retrieve, especially this time of year. I saw others in a nearby tree.
The Record's Scott Fallon has an excellent article on a few Shore communities' efforts to curtail this thoughtless practice. Hopefully, North Jersey communities will follow their lead.
The link is here.