Only Two Louisiana Beaches are Open and Safe for Swimming
The Louisiana Department of Health is reporting that only two Louisiana beaches are actually safe for swimming because of health concerns. That is certainly disconcerting news for those who enjoy time next to and in the water at our state's coastal recreational beaches.
But despite how pleasant, it might be to look at the Gulf and adjacent waters just might not be the best place for you and your family to enjoy a refreshing dip, at least for the time being.
Last month it was reported that an individual who was crabbing in coastal Cameron Parish contracted flesh-eating bacteria. The infection came on so fast and so quick that the individual had to be hospitalized and placed in the ICU. What's even more concerning is that he reportedly told his care team that he had only been standing in ankle-deep water for a short period of time.
Because of brackish water conditions and the fact that the waters in the Gulf of Mexico can get very warm during the spring and summer months the Louisiana Department of Health does weekly water quality sampling. The most recent samplings from the state's nearly two dozen recreational beaches suggest that only two beaches are actually safe for swimmers to enjoy.
Those beaches that currently are not closed or do not have advisories are the beaches at Cypremort State Park and Lake Charles' North Beach. The reason the other beaches are closed has to do with unsafe amounts of enterococci bacteria. The presence of this bacteria usually suggests faecal matter is present. That should be enough to keep you out of the water right there.
For humans, most of the health issues associated with swimming in water found to be high in enterococci bacteria involve skin rashes and irritation. There also can be significant irritation to the eyes and ears. The bacteria can also be responsible for the development of respiratory issues too.
Beaches that have advisories or are closed include Constance Beach, Elmer's Island, Grand Isle Beach, Gulf Breeze, Holly Beach, Little Florida Beach, Long(Dung) Beach, Martin Beach, and Rutherford Beach. For clarity, Grand Isle Beach is closed due to sampling and Lake Charles South Beach is closed for recreational use by Calcasieu Parish.
Here, LDH has a map that might make it easier to figure out where those beaches are located, if you're not familiar with them.
Remember the Department of Health is testing the water in and around these beaches every week between April 1 and October 31st so conditions at your favorite beach are likely to change. However, with continued very hot temperatures for the near term, don't expect those changes to be sooner than later. In addition to warm water temperatures, rainfall and rainfall-runoff as well as the tidal action and the presence of waterfowl and other wildlife also play a part in the water quality too.
So, if you do plan on going to a Louisiana coastal beach, check with the Department of Health and look for warning signs that will be posted near the water. And while you contemplate your next move, contemplate some of these facts about Louisiana that you just can't argue with. Well, you could but you'd be wrong.
19 Straight Up Facts You Can't Argue with About Louisiana