All but two Mississippi beaches now closed to swimmers

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Every beach on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Harrison and Hancock counties, in addition to several in Jackson County, are closed to swimmers and fishers until further notice due to toxic algae.

Only two Mississippi beaches are safe for swimmers: both Pascagoula beaches, east and west, in Jackson County, according to the Mississippi Beach Monitoring Program.

Authorities say that the visitors are welcome to enjoy the sand, but warn that swimming in the water is dangerous.

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality advises people, and their pets, to avoid water contact such as swimming or wading because exposure to the blue-green Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) can be harmful.

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.

MDEQ also issued a water contact advisory July 2 for a segment of the Jourdan River in Hancock County from the I-10 bridge to the mouth of the river into St. Louis Bay.