Coast beaches remain closed due to harmful algal bloom

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Beaches across the Gulf Coast remain closed due to the toxic algae bloom. Four beaches in Hancock County and beaches in Harrison County are shut-down, leaving questions as to when they’ll reopen.

Year-round, thousands flock to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to have fun and enjoy the many different beaches that we have to offer. The Crawford family is visiting from Kentucky. “I googled places in Mississippi for family vacations and the Gulfport, Biloxi area was at the top of the list. I started doing research on Ship Island, different attractions in the area and we sat down as a family and decided to come down for the week.”

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What the Crawford family wasn’t expecting was blue green harmful algal bloom, or HAB for short. The algae has caused the shutdown of nine beaches on the Coast due its debilitating effects on humans including rashes, vomiting, and diarrhea. “We haven’t seen any signs of it currently where we’re at. We’ve just been told to keep an eye out for it. If you start to see it coming into the shoreline or things like that then time to head off the beach.”

While most beaches in Harrison County are currently open or algae free, beach-goers like the Crawford family are not prepared to take any chances. “We were planning on coming back to the beach on Friday, but we’re going to have to pay attention to the water and see if it’s something we’re able to do or not. If not, we’re going to have to find something else to do in town.”

With no reopen date in sight for the nine beaches that are closed, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is asking beach-goers to pay attention to warning signs before entering a beach.

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