Algae water advisories lead to layoffs by beach vendor

Algae water advisories lead to layoffs by beach vendor
Life's a Beach Jet Ski Rental in Biloxi is one of many vendors hurt by the water advisories posted all along Mississippi beaches. (Source: John Fitzhugh)

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The trickle-down theory of economics just hit the beach as one vendor said he had to lay off two of his employees Tuesday.

The layoffs were caused by the water advisories issued by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) after a freshwater algae bloom hit the Coast. Those advisories have killed business at Life’s a Beach Jet Ski Rental near the lighthouse in Biloxi.

The algae bloom has been caused by a flow of Mississippi River fresh water by way of the Bonnet Carre’ spillway in Louisiana into the Mississippi Sound.

For the two University of Southern Mississippi students, it is a hard economic lesson.

“This is pretty much my only income for the summer to put toward school and books and any kind of disposable money,” said Logan Hatten of Biloxi. “I kind of had my whole summer planned around this job.”

Joseph Bardwell of Biloxi was worried about his prospects for the rest of the summer. “

It is pretty hard because most employers hire at the start of the summer or towards the end of the school year,” he said. “So, now that I’m kind of in the middle, I’m in a rut.”

Other beach vendors along the Coast are experiencing a similar slow down since the water advisories began. Water samples are being taken daily to monitor the algae bloom.

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