MDEQ Closes Beaches in Hancock County

(Jackson, Miss.) – The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), through its Beach Monitoring Program, issued closures Saturday for the beaches in Hancock County due to a harmful algal bloom developing in the area. An algal bloom is the rapid growth of algae on the surface of the water.

MDEQ advises people, and their pets, to avoid contact, including swimming, with the blue-green algae because exposure can be harmful. MDEQ collected samples Friday at the four Hancock County beach stations that were analyzed by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR).

The four stations closed in Hancock County are:

Station 1 – Lakeshore Beach
Station 2 – Buccaneer State Park Beach
Station 3 – Waveland Beach
Station 4 – Bay St. Louis Beach

The algae can cause rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. MDEQ advises that those exposed wash with soap and water and to not eat fish or any other seafood taken from these waters.

All other beaches along the Mississippi Gulf Coast remain open. MDEQ and MDMR are continuing to monitor the situation.

More information about the Mississippi Beach Monitoring Program and the location of beach sampling stations is available at:

To receive beach advisories directly, fill out a contact form at for inclusion in a public group email list, text “MDEQbeach” to 95577, or follow MDEQ on Twitter: @MDEQ.

# # #