MS beaches remain open; area of closed waters reduced
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi's beaches remained open Friday even as neighboring states issued health warnings for swimmers to stay out of the water due to the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality said today all coast beaches and adjacent waters are open for recreational use, with the exception of the area near Petit Bois Island and east Horn Island.
Alabama health officials issued a warning Friday for all beach goers to stay out of coastal waters from the Mississippi state line to the Florida line after tar balls washed up at Gulf Shores and Dauphin Island.
Mississippi's area of water closed to recreational and commercial fishing was reduced Friday. The Department of Marine Resources released a new map showing the coastal waters immediately south of Gautier and Pascagoula to the Alabama line are now open. That area was closed June first after oil was reported on Petit Bois Island. Waters about four miles north and south of Petit Bois and eastern Horn Island remain off limits to fishermen.
Dr. William Walker flew over Mississippi's barrier islands Friday and reported seeing no oil slick or emulsified oil near any of the islands. Walker said the first signs of emulsified oil appeared about 50 miles south of the islands.
Walker's team did see oil slick and oil plumes around Dauphin Island, Alabama, which was reported to the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command in Mobile.