Those heading out to the beaches along Mississippi's Gulf Coast might want to turn that car around.
All 21 beaches along the coast have been closed to swimmers due to an outbreak of dangerous toxic algae. The harmful "blue-green harmful algal bloom (HAB)" occur when "colonies of algae -- simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater -- grow out of control and produce toxic or harmful effects on people." This particular type of algae has been known to cause, amongst other things, "rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting," according to the he Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
The MDEQ warns that though visitors should avoid the water at all costs, they are all more than welcome to enjoy the sand portions of the beaches.
Thanks, but no thanks!