Researchers earlier this month found oil droplets in the tiny blue crabs that feed much of the larger sea life in the coastal Gulf waters. And in what might be worse news, at least psychologically, oil from the spill has started to creep into Lake Pontchartrain, the sacred seafood pantry of New Orleans.
The lake, on the northern edge of New Orleans, is connected to the Gulf of Mexico by a series of waterways. It's a long way from the Gulf shore, and since the explosion in April optimistic local eaters have believed that the lake, and its plentiful seafood, would stay clean.
But now, no one knows how much oil might reach the lake and, on a broader level, whether increased monitoring by state and federal officials will keep the Gulf seafood industry from collapsing.
"We just don't know what it means and that's what's driving us crazy," said Ralph Brennan, whose family runs 12 restaurants, nine of which are in New Orleans.