Pascagoula the last coastal town to join algae-related water advisory

Updated: Jul. 8, 2019 at 6:41 AM CDT
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PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - Pascagoula’s beach is the latest to be placed under a water contact advisory tied to the ongoing blue-green algae bloom. Sunday’s advisory means the entire Mississippi coastline is now off-limits to swimming and fishing in the near-shore waters.

Residents like Bill Kenan believe it is becoming a major problem for the entire area.

“I had a feeling it was going this way. Water always flows west to east," Kenan explained. “It just keeps going and going and going. I don’t know if it’s ever going to get better. I hope it does."

Some people spent their Sunday lounging on the sand, which MDEQ said is safe and still open for public use. Others chose to cool down in a nearby splash pad at Pascagoula Beach Park.

Moss Point resident Clyde Sims said, “It just don’t look right to me. I like the clean pretty water, that’s why we go to Pensacola and places like that to get in the water.”

“Naturally, we are disappointed to now be part of a coast wide closure of our beach due to the hazardous condition of the water," Pascagoula Community Relations Director Lauri-Ellen Smith said. “The safety of citizens and visitors comes first. We will continue to monitor the situation and with the help of our police department, keep people out of the water until advised that it is safe for swimmers.”

MDEQ says the water advisory is in effect because of possible harmful effects of exposure to the blue-green algae.

Kenan worries about other, more harmful things, that have been found in years past, and not just in Mississippi’s waters.

“Well they do have flesh eating bacteria in the water,” Kenan said. "Swim at your own risk, I mean, it could cost you an arm and a leg.”

Visitors who planned to take a swim were left looking for other ways to enjoy their stay on the Coast. Royce Benoit decided to go fishing on the pier.

“It’s good fishing, but I guess we can’t get a meal if we can’t eat the fish out of the water right now," he said. "I just hope they get this problem resolved and fixed before somebody’s child does get sick.”

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