CLOSINGS: View Closings

All 21 of Mississippi's beaches are closed because of toxic algae

Article Image

The blue-green algae bloom that's closing beaches in Mississippi can cause rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

Posted: Jul 9, 2019 10:20 PM
Updated: Jul 9, 2019 10:20 PM

Summer's the perfect time to hit the beach -- unless you live in Mississippi.

Along the state's Gulf Coast, all 21 of the state's beaches have been shut down for swimming due to a blue-green harmful algal bloom (HAB), according to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

HABs occur when "colonies of algae -- simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater -- grow out of control and produce toxic or harmful effects on people" or wildlife, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says.

The toxic algae can cause rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, the state agency warned.

Though the state says people can still use the sand portion of the beaches, they should avoid water contact or consumption of anything from the waters "until further notice."

The HAB was at least partly caused by the opening of the Bonnet Carre spillway in Louisiana, which has triggered "excessive" freshwater to the coastline, the Jackson Clarion Ledger reported.

Blooms can be caused by a variety of factors, including increases in nutrient levels from fertilizer run-off, low water flows, changes in water temperature or changes in ocean currents, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.

HABs aren't rare. In fact, every US coastal and Great Lakes state experiences them, the NOAA says. However, they are popping up with increasing frequency due to climate change and increasing nutrient pollution, according to the NOAA.

HABs are detrimental to the health of the people and marine ecosystems, as well as local coastal economies who rely on revenue from fishing and tourism, the NOAA says.

If you think you may have been exposed to toxic algae, the CDC recommends calling your local poison information center or consulting your doctor about managing symptoms.

Article Comments

Saint Joseph
Clear
16° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 9°
Maryville
Clear
12° wxIcon
Hi: 26° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 4°
Savannah
Clear
16° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 9°
Cameron
Clear
17° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 17°
Fairfax
Clear
16° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 9°
.Friday we will see lots of sunshine as a area of high pressure continues to move into northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri. The colder temperatures will start to move away from the area on Friday. Then over the weekend we will warm up dramatically with highs in the 50s and watch for our next chance for rain on Sunday.
KQTV Radar
KQTV Temperatures
KQTV Alerts

Community Events