Toxic algae bloom invades Jackson County

Four additional Gulf Coast beaches are now closed due to the toxic algae bloom. Of those four beaches, two are in Jackson County, making this the first time that the algae have been spotted in the area.

Fourth of July on the Coast is usually accompanied by large crowds and fun in the sun, but this year, things are a little bit different. Front Beach and Shearwater Beach in Ocean Springs are both closed due to the harmful algal bloom. Ocean Springs Mayor Shea Dobson said, “It’s pretty disappointing. It’s affecting tourism. It’s definitely hampering our ability to enjoy the summer.”

The harmful algal bloom has lingered along the Gulf Coast since June 24th. Nausea, diarrhea, rashes, and much more can be caused by HAB which is the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has asked beachgoers to avoid the water. “We just want to make sure that everyone is safe though. I think that’s the primary concern, just making sure that everyone is informed to not get into the water. Once you get out to the shoreline, if you’re on the beach, just be careful. Be aware of your surroundings,” said Mayor Dobson.

The HAB can be incredibly difficult to see as Mayor Dobson found out when he got an up close look. “To the naked eye, it doesn’t look any different, from my opinion. I’ve lived here my whole life and the water looks just like it always has.”

For updates on beach closings or re-openings continue to check

Categories: Featured, Jackson County, Local News, News

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