"Beach Bacteria Contamination Part of Nationwide Problem"

"HOUMA, La. -- As thousands attended Grand Isle's biggest tourist event this weekend most of its beaches -- and others close by -- were under advisories for high levels of bacteria in the water.

State environmental officials say they don't know the cause because there are too many potential contamination sources.

All four beaches at Grand Isle State Park, all three beaches at Fourchon and one beach on Grand Isle outside the park were all subject to the advisory.

The advisories are not closures. Potential surf bathers are told they enter the water at their own risk.

The warning, issued by the Department of Health and Hospitals Beach Monitoring Program, means tests show potentially hazardous levels of fecal coliform bacteria.

The bacteria, found in human and animal waste, can cause infection of open wounds, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping or fever if the water is swallowed.

... Other beaches across the state are even worse."

Robert Zullo reports for Houma Today July 26, 2009.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009