MDEQ lifts water contact advisories for all Mississippi beaches

MDEQ lifts water contact advisories for all Mississippi beaches
For many in the tourism industry, the summer of 2019 will be remembered as the summer of the blue-green algae.

GULF COAST, Miss. (WLOX) - The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, through its beach monitoring program, lifted water contact warnings Friday for all 21 standard beach segments as well as the four nonstandard segments that were issued Aug. 6.

All summer long, harmful blue-green algae blooms have plagued the Mississippi Gulf Coast, with the first water contact advisory issued June 23. In a few days, the warnings extended from Hancock County to Pascagoula.

Recent results indicated that while a harmful algae bloom was present and/or in bloom, many of the cells of the algae were dying. Seeing a continuation in this trend, MDEQ moved to the toxicity testing phase of the protocol this week.

The algae bloom affected beach vendors and the summer tourism business overall, especially during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Fishermen were even advised not to eat anything caught off the shore due to the algae bloom.

Water contact warnings were also lifted for Pass Christian Harbor, Long Beach Harbor, and Bay St. Louis Harbor.

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