By Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - A Mississippi toxic algae bloom that left dead marine animals scattered along the shoreline is forcing officials to close beaches.

The state’s worst toxic algae bloom, called the red tide, has been lingering in the Gulf Coast since Friday, The Sun Herald ( reports.

Inia Soto Ramos, a biological oceanographer at USM’s Ocean Weather Laboratory at Stennis, said scientists have been working to forecast the movements of the algae. A weekend thunderstorm created a cloud cover the prevented satellite imaging.

Monty Graham, director of USM’s Gulf Coast Research Lab and chairman of the Marine Science Department at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, said he doesn’t see any signs of change regarding the algae moving.

“The winds are forecast to come out of the South,” he said. “We’re probably in a bit of a pattern where we’re not going to change too much.”

Officials have closed all beaches and oyster reefs indefinitely since the bloom appeared in Mississippi waters last week.

Graham told the newspaper he’s never seen a case of this magnitude in the more than 20 years he’s worked in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Officials have warned the public to stay away from beaches and immediate coastal areas. They have also warned anglers to avoid harvesting dead or distressed marine life.


Information from: The Sun Herald,

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