Summer vacationers hoping to cool off in the Gulf of Mexico have been told to stay away after the state was forced to close all of its beaches.
According to the Associated Press, government officials in Mississippi announced the closure of all 21 of the state’s beaches due to an outbreak of toxic blue-green algae.
The blue-green algae bloom has spread into Pascagoula, offcially putting all South Mississippi beaches under water contact advisory. Watch @WLOX tonight to hear reaction from residents and the city’s response. #GulfCoast pic.twitter.com/jMtgWqt4aS— Joyce Philippe (@JoyceMeetsWorld) July 8, 2019
“The closure refers to water contact and does not prohibit use of the sand portion of a beach,” the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality said in a statement. “The algae can cause rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.”
The Associated Press are reporting officials have shut down swimming, wading, water sports, fishing, and eating anything from the water until further notice.
According to NOAA, harmful algae blooms are not uncommon, however they are popping up with increased frequency due to climate change and increasing nutrient pollution.