In 2008, extravagant and creative ways of announcing the sex of a baby became a trend. Gender reveal parties are now almost expected of soon-to-be parents. What were supposed to be celebrations of new lives have become events of disaster. First, there was a forest fire in 2020, that injured twelve and killed one. Then a plane crash in 2021, that ended the lives of two. Now, an environmental crime.
In Mayo Grasso, Brazil, an expecting couple announced that they were having a boy by dyeing the water of an entire waterfall, as reported by The Washington Post. Cachoeira Queima-Pé, the 59-foot-tall waterfall where the incident took place, provides fish and water for a city that is already struggling with severe drought
“So many ways to do a gender-reveal party and they chose just the one that has an environmental impact,” Brazilian forestry engineer Vanessa Costa. The act of dyeing the water is pollution. You are polluting those waters, and that’s an environmental impact.”
While the eventual mom and dad were celebrating, SEMA, the state’s environmental protection agency, began an investigation. According to a SEMA spokesperson, the party was in violation of Brazil’s federal environmental laws, and is subject to fines equivalent to $926 and $9,263 in the United States.
The agency has said in a statement that the soon-to-be parents were unaware that a family member would be using a chemical product to change the water and that it was no fault of their own. The person in question has now been identified and will be responsible for paying for the damages once the investigation has been completed.