MDEQ Adds One Beach Station to Closures
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), through its Beach Monitoring Program, issued an additional closure Wednesday for one beach station (Station 8 – Gulfport West Beach) 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. The closures issued June 22 and June 24 for the nine stations in Harrison County and Hancock County remain in effect. 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 station closed Wednesday is:
- Station 8 – Gulfport West Beach
Closures remain in effect for:
- Station 1 – Lakeshore Beach
- Station 2 – Buccaneer State Park Beach
- Station 3 – Waveland Beach
- Station 4 – Bay St. Louis Beach
- 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 continue sampling every day, 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.