The week of July 8, toxic algae blooms have forced the closure of many Mississippi beaches along the Gulf Coast. Beach goers can still enjoy the sun and the sand, but are strongly warned not to contact the water. Exposure can harm people and pets.
The bloom looks like bright green paint, coating the water in a thick, fluorescent green. The algae in the water can cause many adverse symptoms, including stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Furthermore, the state agency warns those living along the coast not to eat seafood, as toxins from the algae can damage the nervous system through fish and other seafood from affected areas. Further down the coast, Louisiana has also been warned about the toxic algae bloom.
This algae bloom has been caused by floodwater due to heavy rainfall. The freshwater in the Mississippi river spilled over from massive rainfall into the gulf, spreading the algae to the saltwater. The high salinity, shallow water, and sunlight were perfect conditions for the algal bloom.
The algae is, unfortunately, harmful to wildlife that find their home along the gulf coast. The bloom shows no sign of subsiding, and is expecting to get worse with more rainfall coming soon.
Erin F. Fox, 2019
Source: NPR News