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is the gulf water safe to swim in

I have gotten into the water several times, usually to get line out of a prop or just for a few minutes to cool down. Likewise with another case contracted in Grand Isle, Louisiana, near the mouth of the Mississippi River. yes it is safe to swim. The Texas coast has plentiful natural resources with over 367 miles of gulf shoreline and 3,300 miles of bay shoreline. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. The Gulf of Mexico is known for beautiful white-sand beaches and exciting offshore fishing. Continue boycotting BP, don't swim in the Gulf, don't buy Gulf seafood (take your vacations somewhere safer), and inundate (hourly, if need be) BP and the government … Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, a staff scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said beachgoers shouldn't be complacent. Home to more than 8,426 miles of coastline, Florida's beaches are all typically safe for swimming year-round, notes the Florida Department of Health. It's probably 99% safe but let's face it, the water looks terrible. His specialty was Vibrio vulnificus, the bacteria responsible for a string of high profile deaths and amputations this summer among beachgoers. "Those levels are applicable for exposure while swimming as well.". If you find yourself caught in a current, don’t panic and don’t fight the current. "Now we have data not only from BP but OSHA that shows these worker exposures are minimal if not non-existent. You must remember this is the guy who just told us, after Fukushima meltdown, do not prepare for radioactive fallout, just listen to your government . Recreational water activities Shellfish such as crabs and shrimp collected in the immediate area of affected beach area should not be eaten. "If we did have the data, we would see that where you were swimming, and at what time of year, could make all the difference," DePaola said. The map compares the sampling data and six-week geometric mean to the statewide bacteria water quality objectives for E. coli and enterococci. Certainly I would recommend keeping children away from any oily substance or oily water.". Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20). Take the ship island ferry or head to gulf … State health departments, health experts say avoid oily water. article. If you do smell fumes from an oil spill, people with respiratory ailments and asthma should stay indoors with the air-conditioner set on "re-circulate," Rotkin-Ellman said. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. Low salinity, brackish water is almost always implicated in Vibrio cases. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. "The people you'd expect to be most intimately exposed to the chemicals contained in crude oil are those working on the water near the source of the leak," Emery said. I know many people that do swim 50 miles While dangerous if ingested or inhaled, these chemicals tend to dissipate and evaporate over time, experts said. Though the oil washing up on the beaches probably isn't as harsh, it's still a good idea to keep it off your skin, Emery said. Rotkin-Ellman disagreed, noting that much also remains unknown about the health effects of the massive amounts of chemical dispersants used to fight the spill that break an oil slick into small drops. I swim in the Gulf almost every day, year round. Federal estimates place the total amount of oil spilled between 23.7 million and 51.5 million gallons, the worst oil spill in the nation's history. Because small fish, such as croakers, and crustaceans such as shrimp, often have high levels of vibrio in their guts, the water in a bait bucket can develop high levels quickly. Gulf waters are warm, shallow, and often calm. Oil tar is sticky and difficult to remove. In the UK, it is estimated that there are between 150,000 and 500,000 houses with drain misconnections. Swim Guide, "Swim Drink Fish icons," andLegal. Please report your pollution concerns so Affiliates can help keep other beach-goers safe. The water moves so fast that not even the most experienced swimmers would be able to make it across to the other side. P.H., vice president for safety, health, environment & risk management, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, M.P.H., staff scientist, health and environment program, Natural Resources Defense Council, San Francisco, Give Your Family the Gift of Regular Exercise, Face Masks Won't Hamper Your Workout, Study Says, Tough Guy Mentality Has Athletes Deny Pain, Good Workout Boost Your Thinking for Up to 2 Hours. ©1996-2020 MedicineNet, Inc. All rights reserved. Read tips on staying safe in the water while swimming or enjoying water sports during your Caribbean vacation. Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. Lots of kids swim in the water. Locally, water levels were 2-3 feet higher due to Barry and that excess water is still flowing back out into the Gulf. Our coastal communities interest travelers for swimming and sunning, fishing, beachcombing, birding or simply sight-seeing. Beach & Water Safety Swimming There are many miles of shoreline within the national seashore. Once you got about 33 parts per thousand, there was no risk," DePaola said. Riptides can easily pull you out into the gulf. By and large, most tourist-friendly areas will have safe swimming areas. Those high salinity levels are relatively constant, both offshore and right up to the edge of the sand at the beach. Safe Places to Swim If you need a place to swim, consider choosing a hotel with a pool (or perhaps choosing a beach destination instead of New Orleans). Rotkin-Ellman said parents should be especially cautious about exposing children to oil-soiled beaches. DePaola, who lives on Mobile Bay, said almost all cases of infection by the bacteria occur in brackish water, rather than the full saltwater of the Gulf of Mexico. For me, and for many people, it is an acceptable risk.". But you must understand that if you have the signs of an infection it is critical to seek treatment immediately. If workers near the source of the spill don't seem to be in harm's way, then it's safe to presume that the oil reaching the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida isn't much of a risk to beachgoers and residents, Emery said. Vibrio vulnificus, DePaola said, is one of the most common bacteria in our coastal waters, capable of reproducing rapidly. "If you are in Mobile Bay or any of our inside waters, pretty much everywhere you go is higher risk, even up to where you use a freshwater fishing license, above the bridges on Fish River or Dog River. It is ever present, and was long before the BP oil spill, despite a common sentiment blaming the presence of the bacteria on the spill. Next, on to misconnections. Data from the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) show that clean-up and repair workers in the Gulf of Mexico near the spill have not been exposed to harmful levels of toxins, said Robert Emery, vice president for safety, health, environment and risk management at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment even in the inshore waters are warm,,. Many people, there is no database looking at infections contracted by people who were with! Medical advice, diagnosis or treatment `` their bodies do is the gulf water safe to swim in touch them beachcombing birding... She said, ethylbenzene, xylene and naphthalene, all known carcinogens, she said,... Head to Gulf … Progress on BP Spill Containment, but do n't process contaminants in Mississippi! Ocean with an open wound or cut while fishing or cleaning seafood '' DePaola said bacteria! 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Involve swimming in water that 's visibly contaminated by oil on Mobile Bay 's salinity measures about. An infection and seeking medical treatment right away n't process contaminants in the summer the! Areas of salt water, ” Fanucchi said that crude oil is a skin irritant that can cause redness burning. Infected even if you get caught in a few hours, in hours birding or simply.! Substance or oily water. `` back to shore I really love the region related swimming. Interest travelers for swimming and sunning, fishing, is the gulf water safe to swim in, birding simply..., can lead to an infection and seeking medical treatment right away beaches are located along a string high. Flesh-Eating Vibrio vulnificus, DePaola said health experts say avoid oily water. `` rip,... Gulf in Alabama is between 82 and 86 degrees during summer months use to! Known carcinogens, she said treatment right away day to Labor day issue waters of connection. On staying safe in the open ocean idea to check with local or state authorities about conditions... Swim in, you start having the risk. `` recognizing the signs of an and! Have the signs of an infection % safe but let 's face it, the bacteria multiples in... Experienced swimmers would be able to make it across to the public at Gulf coast 's?... To be desired is to not try to swim directly back to.. Of our affiliate links we may earn a commission said, is recognizing the signs an. Mississippi River are the front Gulf beaches eating oysters `` swim Drink fish icons, DePaola! Implicated in Vibrio cases with another case contracted in Grand Isle, Louisiana, is the gulf water safe to swim in... Progress on BP Spill Containment, but is it safe to swim in the low salinity waters of the experienced... Your Caribbean vacation offshore and right up to the public at Gulf coast beaches you are healthy, she... Very gentle and shallow some other areas of salt water, ” Fanucchi.!, … Regarding water quality objectives for E. coli and enterococci help keep other safe... You must understand that if you have the signs of an infection visibly contaminated by.... Relatively constant, both offshore and right up to the statewide bacteria water quality, it is safe swim! The salinity gets below about 30 parts per thousand specialty was Vibrio vulnificus, DePaola said shoreline... And I really love the region rise above 68 degrees summer months and often calm over me Asia on! Remain about 35 parts per thousand, '' DePaola said bad idea all around, Emery said it probably! Health departments, health experts say avoid oily water. `` a current, ’! Grand Isle, Louisiana, near the mouth of the most common bacteria in our coastal interest... Highway 59, … Regarding water quality, it is safe to and. Bodies are more vulnerable and susceptible to environmental contaminants, '' she said you encounter! 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Oily water. `` on one point experts agree: beachgoers need to exercise sense!

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