JACKSON, Miss. (WKRG) — The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has closed several beaches in Hancock and Harrison counties. Officials say a harmful, blue-green algae bloom has been spotted in the area. The algae can cause stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. MDEQ is asking visitors and their pets to avoid contact with the water. If you do touch the water, make sure to wash the exposed areas with soap and water. Also do not eat any seafood from these areas.

The following beaches are now closed:

  • Station 5 – Pass Christian West Beach
  • Station 6 – Pass Christian Central Beach
  • Station 7 – Pass Christian East Beach
  • Station 7A – Long Beach Beach
  • Station 10 – Gulfport Central Beach

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

Other beaches along the Mississippi coast are open. Officials with MDEQ will test the waters again later today.