All public beaches closed to swimmers in Mississippi due to harmful algae bloom

Posted at 8:25 PM, Jul 08, 2019

Mississippi beach visitors are being ordered not to enter the water due to a toxic algae bloom that has closed all 21 beaches in the state.

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality announced on Sunday that two additional beaches would close, marking the closure of all 21 public beaches. The closures were announced after measurements showed the presence of blue-green harmful algae bloom.

"The algae can cause rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting," the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality said in a statement. "MDEQ advises that those exposed wash with soap and water and to not eat fish or any other seafood taken from affected areas."

At the surface, harmful algae blooms are not visible, the CDC says.

"An algal bloom can look like foam, scum, mats, or paint floating on the surface of water," the CDC said. "Some blooms are not visible at the water surface. Water bodies with an ongoing bloom may look blue, green, brown, yellow, orange, or red. When organisms in a bloom die and decompose, they can release unpleasant odors (like the smell of rotting plants)."