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WAFB - BP Oil Spill: 2 Years Later

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By Kiran Chawla

It's a sound so precious and a sight so welcoming: that mouthwatering Louisiana delicacy.

Fried, sizzled or even raw - oysters took one of the hardest hits when the Deepwater Horizon went up in flames April 20, 2010 spewing up oil from the deep like a volcano and spawning the nation's worst offshore spill.

A thick, murky crude replaced beach goers, boom took over boats on the water and oysters, in some cases, were no longer available.

"Immediately right after the spill, we were real busy. The four weeks, we were extra busy because the word was out that all the seafood was going to be contaminated, and it would be hard to get it," said Don's Seafood General Manager Duke Landry.

But just two weeks later, Landry said business dropped because of the negative perception. But now, "We've made a real strong come back," said Landry. "The oysters are just unbelievable, they're fat, they're salty, they're fresh, they're clean."

Most importantly, they're safe. Because Louisiana's seafood is in the national spotlight, officials say it's never been safer to consume what the Bayou State produces best.

"We were born eating seafood here, and I'll eat it till the day I die, not afraid at all," said Don's customer Stephanie O'Neal.

On the national front, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu is pushing for the Restore Act.

"We now have that bill very close to a conference between the House and the Senate," said Landrieu.

It dedicates 80% of the BP fines to the five states impacted. Senator Landrieu said that would send anywhere between a $5 to 20 billion penalty to the Gulf.

"We hope would be levied by the judge to stay here in the Gulf coast where the injury occurred to help restore our marsh, help our businesses really recover economically," said Landrieu.

Governor Bobby Jindal called Louisiana resilient on the 2nd anniversary of the spill.

"We have made progress over the past two years, but our recovery is not over yet. Nearly 200 miles of our coastline continues to experience some degree of oiling which impacts our fishermen, small businesses and coastal communities," said Jindal.


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