On Sunday, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality closed the last two of the state’s public beaches as a result of toxic bacterial blooms.
The state has been closing beaches for more than a week, following an influx of freshwater spillover from the Bonnet Carre spillway opening in Louisiana, according to the Clarion-Ledger.
The so-called blue-green algae is not actually an algae, but cyanobacteria. Exposure can cause rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.
“It is advised that you use caution and do not take fish, crabs or shrimp from the areas affected by the bloom. Any marine life from the affected area should not be consumed even if it is cooked or frozen,” the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality said.
The sand portions of the beaches remain open, but beachgoers are advised to stay out of the water, and not eat fish or seafood from the affected areas. Seafood caught outside the algae-infected areas along the coast is believed to be safe.
Officials say they are conducting daily water sampling in the affected areas.