Beaches along the Gulf Coast have closed due to high levels of bacteria and algae in the water.
Harmful, greenish-blue algae is filled with bacteria that can cause rashes, cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.
19 beach areas are closed in Mississippi, including most of Gulfport, Mississippi.
On Tuesday evening, the MDEQ announced four more beaches have closed:
- Edgewater Beach in Biloxi
- Biloxi West Central Beach
- Front Beach in Ocean Springs
- Shearwater Beach in Ocean Springs
All people and animals are highly encouraged to stay out of the water in locations where the algae levels are high.
Eating seafood from the impacted locations is also not recommended.
On Monday, the Hancock County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a new flag system. The warning system will have four new flags:
- Green: Low hazard, meaning safe to swim.
- Yellow: Moderate hazard reported from MDEQ
- Red: High hazard, advising the public to stay out of the water.
- Double Red: Water closed for public use.
Here's a list of advisories along the Gulf Coast:
- ALABAMA — http://www.adem.state.al.us/programs/coastal/beachMonitoring.cnt
- LOUISIANA — http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/288
- MISSISSIPPI — http://opcgis.deq.state.ms.us/StoryMapBeaches/index.php#list
- FLORIDA — http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/beach-water-quality/
- TEXAS — https://cgis.glo.texas.gov/Beachwatch/