Multiple beaches are closed in Mississippi because of a large algae bloom, but experts say Alabama and Northwest Florida beaches are in the clear at least for now.
There are advisories in four spots in our area, including one in Fairhope, but those are not beach closures.
The Dauphin Island Sea Lab says they are still trying to figure out if the algae in Mississippi waters are toxic or not.
“We need more data,” said Dr. Alison Robertson at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. “We need to make sure we have all the samples in hand, so we can access the situation really well.”
Experts say this bloom is rare for blue-green algae in the Gulf because it is only found in freshwater. Conditions are perfect right now because of the opening of the Bonnet Carré spillway.
“The risk to swimmers is pretty low,” said Dr. Robertson. “These aren't blooming in really dense populations, so people have very little risk.”
Beaches in Alabama and Northwest Florida are expected to be safe, at least for now. They are open without any restrictions.
“The beaches are beautiful, there's not really a lot of traffic, not a lot of people,” said Ben Besherse.
“No algae, no jelly fish or anything like that,” said Phoebe McGowin. “It's very calm and very refreshing.”
“Didn't notice anything, honestly my best beach experience in a long time,” said Mary Catherine Horne.
The advisories in our area are in place at Volanta Beach in Fairhope, two in Pensacola and Panama City Beach.