Harmful algal bloom impacting Coast beaches

Four locations on the beach were closed Saturday in Hancock County and as of now, they remain closed. The locations that are closed are Lakeshore Beach, Buccaneer State Park Beach, Waveland Beach, and Bay St. Louis Beach.

Five additional beaches in Harrison County have now been added to that list. These beaches are Pass Christian West, Central, and East Beach, Long Beach and Gulfport Central Beach.

“It is a complete ecological disaster.” Ryan Bradley has spent most of his life fishing in South Mississippi so it is safe to say he has seen a lot, but it has been nothing compared to the recent issues the Coast has been facing. “This is really unprecedented. In my lifetime, I have never seen this type of algae in our marine waters.”

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality announced that five beaches in Harrison County and four beaches in Hancock County have been closed due to a toxic blue-green algae bloom. “I’ve never seen it as thick as it is here recently. I’ve never seen it as thick as it is here recently and it is getting worse every day. This is definitely adverse impacts of the Bonnet Carre Spillway opening.”

The algae, along with all of the other issues related to the Bonnet Carre Spillway opening, has had a direct and negative impact on local fishermen. “As you can see behind me, all of our shrimp fishermen are in dock. They ought to be out shrimping right now so it has been a complete disaster for our marine resources and our fisheries and the marine mammals’ habitat, the porpoises, the sea turtles.”

Officials advise people and their pets to avoid contact with the algae because exposure can cause rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. “Report and document  any abnormalities that you come across.”

Categories: Featured, Harrison County, Local News, News

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