People and pets are being warned to stay out of the water along the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast as toxic bacteria continue spreading eastward. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality started closing some beaches June 22 and on Sunday closed the last two sections in Pascagoula.
The agency has warned that polluted Midwest floodwaters have fed an outbreak of cyanobacterium, popularly known as blue-green algae that can cause rashes, diarrhea and vomiting. It is spreading as water from the Mississippi River pours into the Gulf of Mexico from the opening of the Bonnet Carre spillway.
The closures refer to water contact and does not prohibit use of the sand portion of a beach. According to National Park Services, the barrier islands remain safe and monitoring will continue. For more information on closures you can visist MDEQ’s Beach Monitoring Program here.