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All Mississippi beaches shut down due to toxic algae

All Mississippi beaches shut down due to toxic algae
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The state of Mississippi on Sunday moved to shut down all 21 of its beaches because of toxic algae.

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced two additional beach closures Sunday in response to blue-green harmful algal bloom (HAB).

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HABs 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" or wildlife, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

MDEQ warned that the algae can "cause rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting."

Visitors are still welcome to spend time on beaches, but are cautioned not to make contact with water.

HABs are not rare and are likely become more common in more places because of climate change and nutrient pollution, according to the NOAA.

Every coastal and Great Lake state experiences them.