he Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), through its Beach Monitoring Program, issued additional closures Monday for five beaches in Harrison County due to a blue-green Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) extending into that area. An algal bloom is the rapid growth of algae on the surface of the water.
Sampling in the Pass Christian Harbor and the Long Beach Harbor also indicate the presence of an HAB.
MDEQ advises people, and their pets, to avoid water contact such as swimming or wading because exposure to the blue-green HAB can be harmful. The closures refer to water contact and do not prohibit use of the sand portion of a beach.
The additional stations closed Monday were:
- Station 5 – Pass Christian West Beach
- Station 6 – Pass Christian Central Beach
- Station 7 – Pass Christian East Beach
- Station 7A – Long Beach Beach
- Station 10 – Gulfport Central Beach
The algae can cause rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. MDEQ advises that those exposed wash with soap and water and to not eat fish or any other seafood taken from affected areas.
All other beaches along the Mississippi Gulf Coast remain open. MDEQ will resume sampling Tuesday, and this advisory may be revised as results dictate. The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources analyzed the samples for MDEQ, and the two agencies are working together examining the HAB situation.
More information about the Mississippi Beach Monitoring Program and the location of beach sampling stations is available at: http://opcgis.deq.state.ms.us/beaches.
To receive beach advisories directly, fill out a contact form at http://opcgis.deq.state.ms.us/beaches/contact.html for inclusion in a public group email list, text “MDEQbeach” to 95577, or follow MDEQ on Twitter: @MDEQ.