At several spots along the beach, you may notice signs and flags warning you to stay out of the water. That's because the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality of MDEQ says there is higher bacteria levels in the water, which could cause illness. But some of the beachgoers we talked to said they either didn't notice the signs or don't care.
MDEQ flagged problem areas in Harrison counties where the water has higher than normal bacteria levels which exceed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) standards.
According to swimmers, the signs and flags posted on the boardwalk are of little use. Folks like Baton Rouge native Shasta Moore were in the water for about two hours for a family getaway. She says she didn't catch the flags or the signs.
"If I was aware of it, my child would not have gotten in that water and I would not have gotten in it either," said Moore.
Ashley Blessitt brought her kids and boyfriend from Columbia, Mississippi for some family fun on the beach.
"Just walking around collecting seashells and walking up and down the beach and going out for a swim when we first got here," said Blessit.
Blessit says she and her boyfriend never noticed the flag or sign next to their car stating swimming in the area isn't recommended.
"Nobody really pays attention to anything except there. You know? Once they get out of the car they go straight to the water. That's all. So you know? If there were signs out here that were closer to the water maybe more people would see it," said Blessit's boyfriend Chris Ward
Moore agrees. She thinks the signs would be more useful closer to the water instead of closer to Highway 90.
"You can't see it. I still don't see it. And you're driving; you're not looking at signs," said Moore.
Still Ward and Blessit say as long as the beach isn't closed, they aren't worried about an advisory that involves bacteria levels.
"As far as the bacteria, no I'm not concerned about the bacteria. Sharks yes," said Ward.
As for Moore, she says she won't be getting back in the Gulf anytime soon.
"Bacteria is very serious. I won't be coming back," Moore said.
Click here to see beach advisories: http://www.usm.edu/gcrl/msbeach/harbmon.cgi