PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (AP) — An outbreak of toxic bacteria is ruining some beach plans in Mississippi, where authorities are warning people not to swim or eat seafood from polluted coastal waters.
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality released a list of nine closed beaches in two of the three coastal counties, Hancock and Harrison. People shouldn't even allow their pets to come in contact with water that has a greenish-blue hue.
The toxic cyanobacterium can cause rashes, diarrhea and vomiting.
Mississippi Department of Marine Resources Executive Director Joe Spraggins blames fresh water entering the Mississippi Sound. A New Orleans spillway has been open for a historically long time to relieve pressure on levees from the flooded Mississippi River. The fresh water influx is creating a dead zone without oxygen where marine life can't survive.