The swim advisory issued last week for Constance, Gulf Breeze and Little Florida beaches in Cameron Parish has been lifted after water samples collected this week showed improved water quality. A swim advisory remains in effect for Long Beach, Hackberry Beach, and Rutherford Beach and an advisory has been issued for all sections of Holly Beach. Martin Beach, located further west in Cameron Parish, remains free of an advisory.
Cameron Parish is the only part of the state that currently has beaches under advisory.
The swim advisory remains for some beaches 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 these beaches or facilities. All areas remain open for boating, fishing and land-based activities.
The advisory, issued through the Department of Health and Hospitals’ Louisiana BEACH Monitoring Program, states that the public should avoid swimming 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 occur 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, 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.