All 21 Mississippi beaches close due to toxic algae bloom - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

All 21 Mississippi beaches close due to toxic algae bloom

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BILOXI, MS (ABC) -- All 21 of Mississippi's beaches have been shuttered for swimming due to the presence of toxic algae. 

The bloom arrived during the 4th of July holiday, which is peak for tourism and tourism revenue in the area. 

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality announced two additional closures on Sunday due to a blue-green harmful algal bloom, after previous closures were issued for the 19 other beaches along the state's Gulf Coast. 

The two beaches that were shut down on Sunday are in Pascagoula, Mississippi, on the Alabama border.

"The closures refer to water contact and does not prohibit use of the sand portion of a beach," the state agency said in a statement. "The algae can cause rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting."

Every U.S. coastal and Great Lakes state experiences harmful algal blooms, or HABs, which occur in fresh, salt and brackish water bodies when algae colonies "grow out of control and produce toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals and birds," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says blue-green algae blooms can be caused by factors like increasing in nutrient levels from fertilizer run-off, low water flows, changes in water temperature, or changes in ocean currents. 
 

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