As a result of probable high bacteria levels, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has issued a Water Contact Advisory for the following locations:
- Harrison County:
- Gulfport West Beach near Fournier Avenue in Gulfport from Marie Avenue eastward to Camp Avenue
- Jackson County:
- Front Beach near Martin Avenue in Ocean Springs from Yacht Club eastward to Jackson Avenue
- Shearwater Beach near Holcomb Boulevard in Ocean Springs from Weeks Bayou eastward to Ashley
- Pascagoula Beach West near Oliver Street in Pascagoula from Oliver eastward to Westwood
In regards to the advisories posted, MDEQ says, “These segments of beach are not closed; however, there may be an increased risk of illness associated with swimming in these areas. When water samples show that levels are safe for human contact, the advisories will be lifted.
“An advisory is issued when bacteria levels exceed water quality criteria and pose an increased risk to human health. Under the Mississippi Beach Monitoring Program, water is tested for the presence of Enterococcus bacteria, which is an indicator for bacteria pollution. When an advisory is issued, water contact should be avoided.”
Water advisories were previously in effect for all South Mississippi beaches for the most of the summer. The advisories were a result of harmful algal blooms in the Mississippi Sound when trillions of gallons of freshwater were released when the Bonnet Carre Spillway was opened.