A swim advisory remains in effect for Constance, Long, Gulf Breeze, Hackberry, Holly Beach sections 1 through 6, Little Florida, Martin, and Rutherford beaches in Cameron Parish. Additionally, Cypremort Point State Park Beach and Fontainebleau State Park Beach continue to remain under an advisory.
In Lafourche Parish, Fourchon Beach sections 1 and 3 are also under an advisory this week, with section 1 being the easternmost side of the beach and section 4 being the westernmost side.
A new advisory has been issued for the Town of Grand Isle Beach section 1.
Two of the beaches at Grand Isle State Park, after having been closed for construction since May 7, are now open for fishing and other water-related activities, but not camping. Section 1 (accessible from the picnic area) and section 2 (accessible from the camp ground path over the levee), the easternmost sections of the beach, are open to the public. Sections 3 and 4, the westernmost sections of the beach, remain closed due to construction.
These advisories are being issued because water samples collected at these locations showed high levels of enteric bacteria, which comes from the intestinal tracts of humans and animals. Please note that this is NOT a closure of the beach or facilities. All areas remain open for boating, fishing and land-based activities.
The Office of Public Health issues beach advisories to provide information to help citizens make informed decisions about recreational activities at the monitoring sites. The advisories, issued through the Louisiana BEACH Monitoring Program, recommend that citizens should not swim at these locations because the high levels of bacteria are a potential health risk. This is especially important for the elderly, babies, small children and people who are chronically ill or have compromised immune systems. The advisory remains in effect until LDH samples show water bacterial levels are acceptably lowered.
High bacteria levels can happen because of runoff following a storm, area livestock and wildlife or human sewage. These bacteria indicate the possible presence of disease-causing organisms that can cause sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping or fever. Swallowing the water or dunking your head underwater increases the risk of illness.
Health officials will continue testing water at these locations and will advise the public when bacteria levels are back in compliance. However, the public should be aware that water bodies are never completely risk-free and there is always a slight risk of bacterial contamination. People are, therefore, advised to swim at their own risk.
The Louisiana BEACH Monitoring Program is a partnership between the Department of Health and Hospitals, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Louisiana Office of State Parks, Cameron Parish Police Jury, The Town of Grand Isle and Lafourche Parish Police Jury and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.
For more information on the program or to check the status of monitoring at the different locations, please visit www.ophbeachmonitoring.com.